A rail firm has apologised after its Twitter account told a commuter to “Go to the pub” after a suspected suicide at a Birmingham train station.
A London Midland member of staff posted the suggestion on the social networking feed, after being asked by a passenger about likely delays.
They replied: “Go to the pub – things will be rubbish for at least the next hour.”
When another commuter asked if the victim was OK, the train worker tweeted “nope” and then said to another user: “Can’t stop someone jumping off a platform in front of a train I’m afraid.”
The comments were posted following the death of a man in his 70s at University station in Selly Oak at about 5.30pm on Sunday.
The death is not being treated as suspicious.
Network Rail sources expressed surprise at London Midland’s Twitter comments, which risked being seen as insensitive.
Rachel Kirby-Rider, of the Samaritans, said the charity was in touch with London Midland about training staff in “how to best communicate information to their passengers within difficult and sensitive situations.”
David Whitley, who heads up the @londonmidland Twitter account said: “We haven’t received any complaints from the people involved in this correspondence, although we are very sorry if we have unintentionally upset anyone reading through our Twitter feed.
“London Midland can receive over a thousand tweets a day, and we try very hard to provide tailored, individual responses to as many of them as possible within the 140 character limit.
“We are involved in ongoing work with Network Rail and the Samaritans to help reduce the frequency of these sad events.”
Sunday’s death is the second fatality on the rail line between New Street and University station in the last seven months.
The deceased, who was pronounced dead at the scene, is expected to be formally identified at an inquest opening at Birmingham Coroner’s Court this week.
Controversial Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson caused outrage last year when he described people who kill themselves by jumping under trains as “selfish”.
He also claimed they caused “immense” disruption for commuters.
The comments were condemned by mental health charities.