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Notes from underground

It is a stupid and often unsuccessful way to kill yourself, but there is still about one "one-under" every week on the London underground

By Dan Kuper   December 2004

Of all the reasons the underground service grinds to a halt, from signal failures to insufficient staff to derailments, none has as much impact as a suicide. Almost everyone gets involved. The police, ambulance and firemen all pitch up; the underground’s own emergency response unit, station staff, station managers and train managers all crowd around on the platform and try variously to save the person, move the person and clean up bits of the person.

How the tube got its reputation as a good spot for suicides is a mystery. It is a completely stupid choice. A large number of…

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