A DOG died after falling onto the railway tracks while boarding a train at Brighton station yesterday (Wednesday).

One witness described how she saw the dog fall down through the gap between the train and the platform, before the frightened animal bolted under the train.

The pet later died after touching the live electrified rail.

Another witness told how she saw a woman "crying her eyes out" a short time later.

The incident at platform 7 was reported to Network Rail at 9.24am.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We can confirm that a dog sadly died yesterday after falling onto the tracks and coming into contact with the live conductor rail at Brighton station.

“Our thoughts are with the pet’s owner.”

A Govia Thameslink Railway spokesman said: “We are sad to confirm that a dog died after falling onto the track at Brighton station yesterday. We believe that its owner was boarding the 10.01 train to Ore.”

An eyewitness said in a post on Facebook: “Yesterday at Brighton Station, I saw a dog fall down the gap between the train and platform as it was getting off a train.

“The frightened dog bolted under the train.

“I’ve just found out that the dog later died after it touched the live rail.

“The curved platforms at the station mean the gaps are very large in places.

“It’s not the first time I’ve seen a dog stumble and have to been yanked up by its lead whilst two legs are dangling in the gap - it happened to mine once.”

“If you’re travelling with your dog be wary when getting off at Brighton, the best place to get off the train is the front carriage as the platforms are straight and there are no gaps.”

Some Facebook users said they had also experienced the same problem when travelling on trains with their dog.

One said: “Years ago my mum took her Labrador to the train station and he fell through the gap.

“Nobody came to help her as they said he may bite them. Luckily he was on a lead and after a while on her hands and knees she got him back. They were both traumatised.”

Another commented: “Am so sorry. Happened to my dog months ago but a wonderful man came to our rescue.”

The conductor rail, which the dog came into contact with after falling onto the track, is what is used to transmit current to electric trains.

A third rail system is used across a number of the southern counties, including Sussex.