Monday, January 15, 2007

Lack of sympathy for tube deaths

Initial shock and a certain amount of recrimination in some papers over the deaths of two men killed by a train on Friday has brought little sympathy from many members of the public. The two men, Daniel Elgar, 19, and Bradley Chapman, 21, were killed as they ‘ran’ from security guards and into the path of a west-bound District Line subway train. Some witnesses to the commotion aired their shock at the deaths. Mr Leitch, a local resident, described it as a “tragedy that someone wouldn’t be returning home”.
He had watched from his flat as police and emergency crews cleared the scene of the two bodies. He said one of the victims legs had been ripped off by the train’s impact. Police have denied the victims had been chased but that an investigation had been launched to determine all the facts. Meanwhile two other men, arrested soon after the incident, have appeared in court and bailed until February. Neither have yet been named.
But as investigations continue, the chatter in the ‘Blogosphere’ and elsewhere is one of general condemnation. Some refer to the incident as “poetic justice” whilst others describe the victims as “just the sort of people Barking doesn’t need”.
In a post at LibertyScott.blogspot the writer from News Zealand says, “Two men died being run over by a tube train as they were attempting to graffiti a building - how sad! They are exactly the type of people Barking needs rid of, the ones that help make it look run down.” []. Another blogger,, said it was “fantastic” that “two useless lives” were “snuffed out”. The blogger who goes by the name of Stephen claimed that “100% of people asked said the vandals got what they deserved. And it is only a pity that innocent commuters were delayed on their journeys”. Other bloggers took issue on how the men were described. said the BBC was biased in calling the men “graffiti artists”. A comment posted on the same site says, “Suppose vandals spray-painted the homes of BBC officials and reporters. Do you think the BBC would describe them as artists? I don't think so.” Another comment describes the incident as “Darwinism in action” whilst the whilst the writer at Biased-BBC referred readers to what can happen to those who play on railway lines [Warning: graphic content - archived at]. There are some comments of sympathy for the two men killed, some from friends and fellow ‘taggers’. One tagger who describes himself as being ‘passionate about graffiti’ writes on [link]. Referring to the tube deaths he says, “R.I.P OZONE AND WANTS.......YOU WILL BE MISSED."
"It was jokes seeing you spitting at ezkas party and having it had a true passion for graffiti..........blessy”. OZONE is believed to be the tag of Bradley Chapman, and WANTS the tag belonging to Daniel Elgar. Another tagger who goes by the name of Mowgli shows a picture of a ‘graffiti artist’ in a tube tunnel on his myspace website. On Sunday 14th he posted “RIP OZONE, RIP WANTS” [link].
Cheffy Baby from Croydon in South London writes on her myspace website, “Daniel Elgar was 19 and lived in Southend. I knew him since playschool and we only lived a road away. The Friday just gone he was killed by a tube at Barking station after getting caught vandalizing a train. He had a child and worked at the Post office with my Uncle. It’s weird ‘cause I haven’t spoken to him or seen him in years but I feel sad. I’ve known of him all my life and his parents were friends with my parents and members of my family. I’m still shocked after hearing it was him this morning. It’s weird though cause I saw the story on the news and I watched it all (which I never do). I thought maybe it’s because Barking is where my Mum comes from and my family live there but now I know it’s because I actually knew one of the guys who got killed. Strange huh!?"
"But in a good way his death will show kids out there who vandalize in dangerous places to think twice. Well I hope it does anyway" [Link]

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