One dead in accident at UK seaside cliff railway popular with tourists


A person has died in what police describe as an “industrial accident ” at a cliff railway in Torquay, Devon.

Emergency services were called to Babbacombe Cliff Railway at 10.10am yesterday morning (Sunday, September 4) after the individual sustained “serious injuries”.

They were pronounced dead at the scene, Devon Live reports.

The popular tourist attraction takes passengers in carriages up and down the steep cliff to and from Oddicombe Beach below.

There is also a winding road and footpaths down the steep slopes at either end of Babbacombe Down, which is lined with hotels and offers views along the South Devon coast.

The force issued a statement on Monday describing the incident at the attraction as an “industrial accident”.

A police guard remained at the clifftop entrance to the road leading to the railway entrance on Monday morning.

The Health and Safety Executive has been called in and is helping the police with the investigation into the death.

The access road to Oddicombe Beach remained closed on Monday morning, along with a section of the coast path running through the area.

Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Police were called by the ambulance service to reports of an industrial incident at a commercial premises in Torquay at around 10.10am on Sunday 4 September.

“One person sustained serious injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The next of kin have been informed. Emergency services remain at the scene.

“The matter has been referred to the Health and Safety Executive, which is assisting Devon and Cornwall Police with its enquiries.

In light of this, Oddicombe Beach, Torquay, and road access leading down to it will remain closed on Monday 5 September. This will also include the following areas: the South West Coast Path (SWCP) leading from Babbacombe Beach through to Oddicombe Beach and the SWCP leading from St Marychurch in Torquay down to Oddicombe Beach. We would like to thank the public for their co-operation and understanding in this matter.”

The cliff railway opened in 1926 and takes paying passengers along a straight steep track the 220metre distance between Oddicombe beach and the Babbacombe Downs on the cliff top.

There are two passenger cars, each with space for 40 passengers, operating on the service known as a “funicular railway”.