Ramstein airman dies outside London, apparently electrocuted
By JENNIFER H. SVAN AND ADAM L. MATHIS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 8, 2013
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — An airman from Ramstein Air Base found dead early Tuesday at a train station outside of London is believed to have been electrocuted on the railway tracks, according to the British Transport Police.
Air Force officials at Ramstein identified the airman as Staff Sgt. Ryan D. Austin.
Austin, 25, was assigned to the 1st Communications Maintenance Squadron, which falls under the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing. He is from Corbin, Ky.
British Transport Police officers were called to the Maidstone East railway station at 2:49 a.m. Tuesday after a man’s body was discovered on the tracks, a news release from the transport police said.
Austin, “who had injuries consistent with coming into contact with the live rail,” was pronounced dead at the scene, the release said, quoting a transport police spokesman.
“The incident is currently being treated as non-suspicious and officers are working to establish the full circumstances, including how the man came to be on the tracks,” the spokesman said, according to the release.
Citing an ongoing investigation, Ramstein base officials would not say whether Austin was on temporary duty in the United Kingdom or visiting the country on his own.
In a statement posted Thursday on Ramstein’s website and Facebook page, Col. Joseph D. McFall, the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing commander, said: “We come together during this time of loss to support each other and our thoughts are with Staff Sgt. Austin’s family and friends.”
The Maidstone East railway station is about 40 miles southeast of London, and about 100 miles south of RAFs Mildenhall and Lakenheath, where U.S. military personnel are assigned.
The rail at the station is electrified at all times, said Lucy Jones, an assistant press officer with the British Transport Police. Jones said the transport agency runs education campaigns about the rail because people do not realize it is electrified.