Group of teens trespassing on railroad narrowly dodge oncoming train

Hair-raising footage shows the moment a group of teenagers who trespassed on a rail bridge in Toronto, Canada narrowly dodged an oncoming train on Friday, May 20. 

According to Metrolinx, a Milton Line GO Train was crossing a river overpass when it came dangerously close to hitting the group of trespassers.

One of them was "clinging to the fence on the edge of the bridge," the agency reported. 

The train crew spotted two other teens on the track looking as if to "outrun the train."

"Incidents like this are too often tragic and life-altering – not only for loved ones but for the crew and first responders involved," Metrolinx said. "The train crew slammed on their emergency brakes and blasted their horn." The train missed one of the boys by only a foot, Metrolinx said.

Thankfully the teens are safe, but crossing a railroad or trespassing on it can have serious consequences. 

More than 100 Canadians a year are seriously injured or killed while crossing or trespassing on railways, according to Operation Lifesaver.

In the U.S., more than 400 trespass fatalities and nearly as many injuries along railroads occur each year, according to the Department of Transportation

Here are some tips to stay safe near railways, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

  • Trains do not follow a set schedule, so they can come at any time of day from either direction.
  • A train traveling at 55 MPH can take more than a mile to stop.
  • Trains overhang railroad tracks by three feet or more on either side. Even when you are not standing directly on the tracks, you risk being hit by a train by being on railroad property.
  • Despite their size, trains are relatively quiet and do not always sound warning horns when approaching a crossing.
  • Never attempt to walk under, around or between train cars, even when a train is at a complete stop.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.