BRITISH Transport Police have warned young people to stay away from the railways - as a 13-year-old boy remains critically ill following an electric shock from an overhead line.

The boy was airlifted to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary with severe electric burns after an incident at the Tyne Yard Railway Depot, north of Birtley, Gateshead, shortly after 4pm on Saturday, June 14.

A second youth, aged 14, suffered minor burns and was taken to hospital by ambulance.

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A British Transport Police spokesman said it was believed the 13-year-old boy was climbing on a container in the yard when electricity from an overhead line arched and struck him. His friend attempted to help and sustained burns to his arms.

One of the boys called on two dog walkers in the area for help. They then flagged down a passing train to raise the alarm.

The spokesman said: “This incident appears to be an extremely tragic accident and our thoughts are with the boy’s family at what must be an extremely difficult time for them and we are offering them any support we can.

“This horrific incident highlights how dangerous the railway environment is, and how important it is that parents and guardians reinforce the message to their children that the railway is not a playground and to stay away.”