A man is clinging to life after he was run over by a train at Otford in an apparent attempted double suicide.
The man’s 46-year-old female companion was killed instantly Monday night when she was struck by a passenger train bound for Kiama.
The 24-year-old man went underneath the train. He was airlifted to St George Hospital in a critical condition.
Train services were halted as emergency services flooded the site, about 10.30pm.
Passengers are believed to have waited onboard for several hours before they were transferred to another train.
The Mercury understands the train driver has been offered counselling and did not return to work on Tuesday.
Nationally there are around 150 suicides on the rail line each year, according to the TrackSAFE Foundation.
The foundation’s executive director Naomi Frauenselder said some drivers never returned to work after the trauma.
“Any incident on the network, be it a fatality, injury or a near hit does cause profound and lasting trauma to the train driver ... and other rail employees who are exposed,” she said.
The tragedy shattered the peace in sleepy Otford. Neighbours were woken from their sleep as an ambulance chopper landed.
If you feel distressed, consider contacting a 24/7 crisis support service such as Lifeline (13 11 14), Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or MensLine Australia: (1300 789 978).