A teenage girl who has lost both her feet after being struck by a train is being treated in Royal Perth Hospital as authorities try to determine what happened.
The 16-year-old was hit as she and a friend apparently tried to cross tracks at the Moore Street intersection near McIver train station about 11pm on Sunday.
Transit guards pulled the girl to safety and treated her until paramedics arrived. One of her limbs was severed below the knee by the impact and doctors were forced to amputate her other badly injured foot.
The Public Transport Authority is investigating but it is believed warning systems, including pedestrian gates and level crossing boom gates, were working and the teenagers ran around the boom gates in a bid to reach a train to get home.
A NSW man who lost his right arm and a leg when he was hit by a train 15 years ago as he took a shortcut along tracks said he felt terribly sorry for the girl and her family but also the train driver and anyone else who had seen the horrific incident or aftermath.
Jonathan Beninca, who has been working with the PTA to educate youths about rail safety, said the girl would have to learn to walk again and work through self-esteem issues.
But the incident would also haunt the train driver and others who had seen the collision.
"This unfortunately is a lesson for everyone," Mr Beninca said.
"It is not about judging this young woman for the choice she made - it's about seeing what happened to her, being aware of the dangers and obeying the warning signs at level crossings."
The PTA said there were five deaths or serious incidents, not including self-harm incidents, involving rail operations in 2012-13, down from nine the previous year. Mr Beninca urged people to be more cautious, saying he had seen adults in business suits disobey warning signs at Perth train stations to run across the tracks because people never thought it would happen to them.
But he would live with the consequences of his choice for the rest of his life.
"People still label me as stupid and people will probably say the same thing about her," he said. "She made a mistake and she made the wrong choice but I do not think anyone deserves to go through what she is going to have to go through."
The teenager was in a serious but stable condition last night.