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Teenager charged with trespassing on railway - after planking photo ends up on Facebook
By DAMIEN GAYLE
©Crazy: A 14-year-old youth has been charged with trespassing in connection with a photo like this one of a different planker
A teenager has been charged with trespassing on the railway after a picture was posted on the internet of him apparently 'planking' on train tracks
The photo of a teenager lying across railway tracks at an unknown location appeared on a planking fan page on Facebook.
The shot of the youngster with his head on one rail and his feet on the other is one of hundreds which have featured on the group's page.
Now a 14-year-old boy is set to appear at York Youth Court on July 5 in connection with the photo, according to a spokesman for the British Transport Police.
Planking is a craze for taking photos of people lying down in unusual places and then posting them on the web.
©Game on: Planking during a game of golf
A spokesman for the fan page - which was only set up in the past fortnight and which we cannot name for legal reasons - defended the past time.
'For most people, it's just a bit of harmless fun,' he told the York Press, declining to give his name.
He said the group did not condone people planking in dangerous spots, but added they could not be held responsible for anyone who chose to do so.
'However, we have decided to regulate the site now and remove some of the pictures,' he said.
'We have blocked access [to the Facebook profile] to about 800 people under 18, as they might be easily influenced and put themselves in danger.'
©Risky: Participants taking part in the craze lie face down in a tree
The page has already attracted nearly 3,500 'likes' on Facebook.
Fans have posted pictures of themselves on the page planking in locations including on top of nightclub soundsystems, on cars and on bales of hay.
The youngster allegedly pictured planking on the rail tracks was arrested after police received calls from members of the public identifying him.
A spokesman for the British Transport police said: 'After the pictures were brought to our attention, we launched an investigation to identify the male involved.
'We would like to thank members of the public who came forward to identify the boy pictured, who was extremely lucky he wasnt killed or badly injured as a result of his behaviour.
©What a plank: Gordon Ramsay posted up a picture on his Twitter of himself trying out the latest internet craze of planking
'This was very dangerous behaviour. With high speed trains and electric currents, the railway should never be treated as somewhere to play or hang about. When people are spotted on the railway trains are alerted, which causes disruption and delays.
'People who trespass on the railway are not just risking a court appearance, they are taking a gamble with their lives.
'The last thing our officers want is to have to tell a mother, father or another family member that their loved one has died after trespassing on the railway.'
She confirmed that this was only the second incident of 'planking' on the railways in the UK and the first arrest.
In recent months, planking has become a worldwide craze - even celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has posted pictures of himself doing it online.
©Tragedy: Simon Hallam was left fighting for his life after a planking stunt gone wrong
But the phenomenon has already led to tragedies.
Last month 20-year-old Australian Acton Beale died after he fell seven storeys from the balcony railing of a block of flats.
Days later, also in Australia, plasterer Simon Hallam was left fighting for his life after falling and hitting his head while planking on the boot of a fast moving car.
source : dailymail