| 10°C Dublin

Mum left in terror as Luas drives off with baby alone on tram

A TERRIFIED mum was separated from her toddler on the Luas when the doors closed on her and drove away with her baby inside the tram.

Ornella Pastushok (21), from Tallaght, began screaming for help when she realised her two- year-old boy Richard was stuck on a rush-hour tram, and she was stranded outside on the platform.

The young mother was boarding the Luas at 5.15pm, on a crowded platform at Kingswood stop on the Red Line when the incident occurred.

"I was trying to pull into the Luas with the pram on the Kingswood Luas stop and I pushed the buggy in first and afterwards I was trying to get on myself," Ornella told the Herald.


"But the doors were closing and my hands were squeezed inside and I was pressing the button to open the door and people inside were trying to open the door to get me inside. But the door wouldn't open and the Luas drove off without me."

Ornella is now appealing for witnesses of the incident on June 3 to come forward.

She ran after the Luas tram in a bid to try to get the driver to stop the tram. She said: "There were people asking what's happening and why was I crying. There were cameras outside and [the driver] can see what's happening, so it's really not good enough.

"I took the car and went to Tallaght because that's the last stop, but the guards rang and said to go to Cookstown."

Mother and baby were finally reunited at Cookstown Luas stop at around 5.45pm, where the baby was waiting with two inspectors and gardai.

"He was crying because he was left alone. And I have so much stress now that I'm going to the GP to prescribe something for the stress."

Ornella is now engaged in a legal battle with Veolia, the company which operates the Luas, and she says she's seeking compensation for the trauma.

A Veolia spokesperson has insisted that the driver was unaware that the mother was not onboard.

She explained: "Upon receipt of a call from the gardai through our central control room, Veolia sought to immediately identify the child. The child was identified." At the next available tram stop our customer services officers took the child off the tram. Veolia said it regrets any distress caused.