A blind man said he was 'minutes from death' after falling on train tracks.

Michael Tornow plummeted off the platform edge at Glasgow's Bellgrove railway station just five minutes before a train was pulling in.

The 41-year-old, from Glasgow, was then unable to climb back himself but was thankfully helped by other passengers who put their own safety at risk.

He said he fell due to a lack of tactile paving which would have warned him of the platform edge.

Glasgow Times: Michael was with his dog when he fellMichael was with his dog when he fell

These are concrete strips indented with furrows or small bumps that are felt when someone stands on them.

Michael relies on the paving as he is completely blind after battling a genetic condition called Alstron syndrome, and also struggles with hearing impairment.

The accident left him badly bruised and in agony for weeks after the incident on April 10.

Michael said: "A train was due in about five minutes after me falling, and I would probably not be alive now if it weren’t for the help other people gave me.

"I landed on my backside and knees and, following the fall, my tailbone and knees were sore and badly bruised and I was in pain for a few weeks following the incident.

"I travel independently with my guide dog, and my journey begins and ends at Bellgrove station in Glasgow.

"I made my way towards the stairs to exit the station. On my way I must have been walking slightly too close to the platform edge on my right-hand side and I fell off the platform.

“Fortunately, my guide dog remained on the platform.

"I stood up and attempted to climb back up to the platform but couldn’t because the platform height was about two metres, and the wall I was trying to climb up was smooth concrete, so there were no hand-holds to assist me.

"I was so lucky in that the station was busy and other passengers risked their own safety to help me back up onto the platform.

“The station has an island platform between the two tracks and there is no tactile paving at the platform edge on either side.

"Had the tactile paving been there at the platform edge I would have avoided falling.”

Glasgow Times: Michael fell at Bellgrove stationMichael fell at Bellgrove station

Michael’s accident underlines a major campaign that the Royal National Institute of Blind People Scotland is pushing for to see tactile paving to be fitted on all railway station platform edges in the UK.

The national sight loss charit are calling on Network Rail to fit tactiles at Belgrove station, where Michael fell, as a matter of urgency.

In February 2020, a blind man, Cleveland Gervais, fell to his death from a platform in Beckenham station, south London, that also was unmarked.

At present, 40% of UK rail stations lack tactile paving.

Michael added: "I reported this to both ScotRail and the Office for Road and Rail. ScotRail did liaise with Network Rail because Network Rail are currently installing tactile paving at platform edges throughout the UK.

“Network Rail advised however, that they are prioritising installing tactile paving at stations where there are partial tactiles already present, or where the station is likely to be used by a visually impaired person to attend something nearby, for example a college.

"They say there is an aspiration to install tactiles at all Scottish stations where funding allows, but there is no deadline for this to happen at Bellgrove.

“Network Rail advised that Bellgrove station is not a priority and they aren’t reprioritising it following my fall.

"The Office for Road and Rail couldn’t record my fall as a near miss because they can only do this when there has been an injury requiring medical treatment.

“I did raise with ScotRail, Network Rail and ORR that I have fallen previously at Bellgrove station in 2008 and again this wouldn’t have happened had there been tactile paving present."

Patrick Nyamurundira, ScotRail access and inclusion manager, said: “We were concerned to hear about Mr Tornow's accident, and we’re glad that no serious injuries were sustained.

“ScotRail is dedicated to making sure that everyone who uses Scotland’s Railway has equal access, and we're now working with Network Rail to have tactile paving installed at Bellgrove station as a priority to ensure all rail users can travel with confidence.”

Director of RNIB Scotland, James Adams, said: "It is vital that railway stations are fitted with tactile paving to ensure the right of people with sight loss to use public transport safely.

"We launched our #RailSafe campaign calling for urgent addressing of rail safety. We welcome the promises so far to accelerate the rollout of tactile, however, we are keen to receive a firmer commitment to complete the installation of tactile paving on all railway platforms by 2025."