"I left work and went home in the full realisation that perhaps I am not such a rationalist after all, because I sobbed my heart out in the arms of my partner."
Almost always, suicide victims peer into the locomotive cab in their final moments. They stare right into the eyes of the engineer, perhaps reaching for a last human connection.
I'd advised the passengers to stay where they were and not to try to open the doors because we weren't fully in the platform; amazingly, they all complied. I walked back through the carriages opening the adjoining doors and shouting: "Please leave the train, and leave the station as quickly as possible!"
I think removing the possibility in one place could simply move the activity to another.
A study conducted five years after the Ellington barrier went up showed that while suicides at the Ellington were eliminated completely, the rate at the Taft barely changed, inching up from 1.7 to 2 deaths per year. What’s more, over the same five-year span, the total number of jumping suicides in Washington had decreased by 50 percent, or the precise percentage the Ellington once accounted for.
"At the risk of stating the obvious," Seiden said, "people who attempt suicide aren't thinking clearly. They might have a Plan A, but there's no Plan B. They get fixated. They don't say, 'Well, I can't jump, so now I'm going to go shoot myself.' And that fixation extends to whatever method they've chosen. They decide they're going to jump off a particular spot on a particular bridge, or maybe they decide that when they get there, but if they discover the bridge is closed for renovations or the railing is higher than they thought, most of them don't look around for another place to do it. They just retreat."
A smart man inquired, "Do you know there's a person under your train?" I looked at the blood on the windscreen momentarily before assuring him that, yes, I was aware.
He paused for a heartbeat, looked at his watch and said, "So, how long before we get on the move again?"
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