Hotspots and Incidents » Disasters, catastrophes
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Train Hits Teenage Boy Imitating Computer Game in Real Life

Three boys decided to run towards a fast train and to jump aside during the last second

A large celebration was held in Gorky's Camp on July 15th. Everybody was welcoming children from the city of Kaliningrad. The music was playing, children were dancing and singing. The guests could not even imagine that a terrible tragedy took place in the camp just a week ago: 11-year-old boy Maxim from the Moscow region died on a railway track.

The Gorky pioneer camp is situated in the Yaroslavl region, in the picturesque place not far from the settlement of Dubki. A railway track is located about 500 meters far from the camp. There is a small railway stop near the camp, and children often go there to buy sweets and water in a small shop at the station. The shop is situated across the railway track, and children risk their lives when they go there - trains go at a very high speed in both directions there. The camp's personnel does not allow children to do it, but they do not listen to adults and continue their dangerous journeys to the railway station. When we came up to the shop, there was a line of children there and the camp's chief was rebuking them for acting wilfully.

"This shop has been causing too many troubles to us - children do not listen to us, they keep coming to the shop, although we reprimand and scold them. Everyone knows about the tragedy that has recently happened here - children can show it to you, where it happened exactly," the chief of the camp said.

Three boys from the 7th group of the Gorky Camp, in which the now-deceased boy Maksim was resting, often visited the shop across the railway. They could leave the camp's territory easily, without any problems. The camp is guarded all the time, it is surrounded by a high fence, but there were a lot of loopholes in it.

One hundred and fifty children from the Moscow region arrived in the camp in July. The children had a lot of sports classes every day - training, sports games, physical exercises and so on. Every group had special trainers, and it seemed that they did not give boys a spare minute to have a rest. However, boys are boys, taking into consideration their adolescent phase. The boys studied at various sports sections, Maksim was in the skiing one.

Teenage boys are all fond of computer games, they often mix up the game and the reality. There is a computer game called "Kamikaze:" a little man runs towards a train, approaches  it as close as possible and then jumps off the railway track, letting the train pass him by. Boys like this game a lot, but a little man in the game has a lot of lives, whereas a human being has only one. The boys probably forgot about it, because they decided to play that game themselves, without any computers. Maksim was a very enthusiastic player, he would spend hours in front of a computer screen.

The three boys left the Gorky Camp at about 7 p.m. and went to the railways station. Ten minutes before the tragedy, Maksim called his parents and told them that he was fine. The boys went to the shop and bought something there. The shop assistant remembered that the boys were arguing about something. The two boys were trying to convince Maksim not to risk his life - he was determined to count to 200 running towards a fast train.

When a heavy freight train showed up, the boys ran towards it. They were supposed to approach it as close as possible and then jump off the railway track. The conductor caught sight of three boys running towards the train and pushed the breaks. The heavy train could not stop, it was moving at a great speed. The two boys jumped aside during the last second, but Maksim stumbled and fell down. It was a rainy day and the track was slippery. The huge heavy train severed the boy into two, his body was injured very much, it was nearly impossible to recognize him.

Two men were passing by the railway station at that moment and they witnessed everything. The camp learnt the horrible news from them. The personnel rushed to the station immediately.

An event was scheduled to take place in the neighbouring Kolosok camp the same night. The undertaking was cancelled, the personnel gathered all children in the buildings. Some parents decided to take their children back home soon after that accident.

Maksim's parents came to the camp to take their son's body. The children from the other camp said that they had never played such games - they were all orphans, they did not even know how to play a computer game.

The local police department is currently investigating the tragedy at a small railway stop near the two camps. For the time being, it is not known, if someone is responsible for the accident. The personnel of the camp was supposed to take care of their lives, although teachers and trainers said that it was impossible to watch each and everyone in a big camp. Is there a need to send children to camps if no one is responsible for their lives there? It goes without saying that grown-ups were aware of the dangerous games that their children were playing. A ticket to a children's camp is rather expensive now, but the situation has not changed.

Elena Baldina

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