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Lecturer watched friend fall to death from moving train

Fabian Galama, of Edinburgh Napier University, says Erik Suidman lost his balance in India.

India: Lecturer and friend boarded wrong train (file pic).
India: Lecturer and friend boarded wrong train (file pic). CC by Smeet Chowdhury

An Edinburgh university lecturer watched his friend fall to his death after they jumped from a moving train in India.

Fabian Galama and Erik Suidman were on the final stretch of a two-week journey across the country when the incident happened on Tuesday.

They were heading for the city of Agra but mistakenly boarded an express train to New Delhi and decided to jump off as it left the platform.

Mr Galama, 53, jumped first and escaped with minor injuries but Mr Suidman, 51, lost his balance as he jumped and suffered a fatal head wound.

Mr Galama, an art and design lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University, said: "I do not know what happened. It was all of a sudden.

"I jumped off first and then he followed but something went wrong in-between. He had his bags with him and the train was rolling."

'It was speeding up and Erik seemed to have lost his balance. He fell just inches away from the tracks.'
Fabian Galama

He added: "It was speeding up and Erik seemed to have lost his balance. He fell just inches away from the tracks. When I picked him up he was bleeding severely."

The pair flew into New Delhi two weeks ago and travelled across the northern Indian state of Rajasthan. They were due to fly home on Saturday.

Mr Galama said: "We were waiting for the train and when it chugged in, we asked at least three people if it was going to Agra. All of them replied 'yes'."

Erik Suidman: Died in fall from train.
Erik Suidman: Died in fall from train. Hamid Ashraf/SWNS

He added: "But it was not a local train, it was an express, so we were confused.

"When we went to look for our window seats, we found them occupied already. It was then that we realised we were on the wrong train.

"As the train was leaving the platform we decided to quickly jump off."

Mr Suidman was taken to a local hospital but died of his injuries on the way, it is understood.

Railway police officer Giga Ram confirmed Mr Galama's account and said Mr Suidman's body will be handed over to the British Embassy when enquiries are complete.

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