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Drunk conductor left train riders trapped

EDINBURGH , Scotland, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A Scottish train conductor has been fined $800 after he passed out drunkenly in his cab, trapping passengers in the train at an Edinburgh station.

Thomas Gracie, 40, was ordered to pay the fine by Edinburgh Sheriff Court after he admitted to breaking transport laws by being intoxicated while on duty, The Daily Record (Glasgow) reported Friday.

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Prosecutor Tom Crosbie said Gracie's blood alcohol content had been more than three times the legal limit for driving at the time of the incident.

He said Gracie's drunken nap left him unable to unlock the passenger car doors when the train arrived at Waverley station Aug. 8.

"Shortly after 8.30 p.m., the train doors failed to open on arrival at Waverley and passengers were unable to get off," Crosbie said. "A cleaner attended at the conductor's cab and observed Gracie was asleep. He was unable to be awoken and the emergency release was activated to allow access to the cab."

Gracie's lawyer, Charlotte Ludgate, said her client accepted that he had a drinking problem and has been fired from ScotRail for being drunk at work. She said Gracie had been distraught at the time of the incident due to the recent death of a close friend.

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