A MAN has told how he feared he would be dragged to his death after his ankle was trapped in the door of a train at Wickford station.

Brian Sams, 63, of Jacks Close, Wickford, had just helped his disabled wife on to a London-bound train when he stepped back on to the platform to pick up her wheelchair.

The doors closed on his ankle as he tried to step back onboard.

He quickly realised there were no guards on the platform, to alert the driver, so he screamed for help as he tried desperately to force the doors open.

He said: "A woman on board was bashing on the open buttons, but that didn't work. I realised once the driver shuts the doors, passengers can't open them.

"I was frantic because I thought I only had seconds to save myself. I thought I was going to be dragged to my death. All that would have been left of me, when the train got to Billericay, would have been a foot in the door."

Fortunately an override mechanism kicked in, and the train's onboard computer sensed a door was not shut. This stopped the train leaving and the doors eventually opened.

However, Mr Sams was left with a badly gashed ankle and is claiming compensation from One, the rail operator which runs the Southend to Liverpool Street service.

He said: "I'm worried about the day the computer fails and someone is dragged off by a train and killed.

"They shouldn't substitute platform guards for computers in matters of safety."

A spokesman for One said: "We can confirm that Mr Sams has been in contact with our customer services centre and we are investigating the circumstances of his complaint.

"Trains are fitted with appropriate safety equipment to prevent a train moving when the doors are obstructed, and communication equipment to stop trains if an emergency is located within the train."