Philly teen electrocuted climbing atop train, SEPTA says

SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel says the case of 15-year-old Raekwon Jones is a tragic reminder of the dangers of climbing up on a train. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel says the case of 15-year-old Raekwon Jones is a tragic reminder of the dangers of climbing up on a train. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Last week’s death of a Philadelphia teen found on top of a commuter train was apparently an accident, according to SEPTA officials.

The burned body of 15-year-old Raekwon Jones was found when the train pulled into Jefferson Station in Center City the morning after Thanksgiving. He apparently climbed atop the train and was electrocuted, SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel said Wednesday.

“At 12:57 a.m. on Friday morning, an electrical fault occurred at Suburban Station,” Nestel said. “It’s sort of like a circuit breaker switching off in your house, that’s an indication that there’s a power interruption.”

Nestel says investigators aren’t sure why the young man climbed the train, but he warned about the danger of “train surfing” — or riding a train by clutching to the outside or climbing to the top of a car.

“You can’t train surf on a train that has overhead power, you will be electrocuted, you will be seriously injured,” Nestel said.

Signs tell people to stay away from the power connections, Nestel said, but officials will review safety measures in the wake of Raekwon’s death.

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