Boy, 12, dies after being electrocuted playing ‘flip the bottle’ by train line

A 12-year-old boy died from ‘catastrophic injuries’ after slipping onto an electric line while trying to retrieve a bottle for a game, an inquest has concluded.

James Myers was playing ‘flip the bottle’ in Merseyside with his friend on October 14, 2019 – an online trend where people throw a bottle full of liquid into the air and try to make it land back on its base. 

But James’ container landed onto the line of a train track in Bootle, Sefton, and in an effort to retrieve it he was shocked with a 630-volt current.

The youngster had waited for a train to go past and then tried to get onto the track by climbing up a six-foot railing.

He then managed to get onto a stone parapet, walk onto a metal bridge and then drop onto the train tracks. 

But it had been raining and James slipped on one of the wet, wooden sleepers and was electrocuted. 

Coroner Julie Goulding told Bootle Town Hall: ‘With that kind of voltage, death is instantaneous, sadly this was a catastrophic fatal injury.’

Not realising this, James’s friend tried to save him by pulling on his clothes to get him off the train tracks. The boy even attempted to give James CPR. 

Locals previously said the child desperately asked for help from a man walking past with his dog. 

The boy apparently called out to him: ‘Mister, mister, my friend’s on the line, don’t leave me!’. 

A nearby neighbour helped to call the police and tried to calm the friend down. 

The inquiry into James’s death concluded on Wednesday that the boy died from ‘catastrophic injuries’ after he ‘tragically slipped and fell on the live line while out playing, having fun.’