A Toronto subway rider is grateful to a fellow passenger who risked his life to save his life. The man, who is blind, had fallen on the subway tracks.
An eyewitness, Julie Caniglia, says she was on her way home from work on Thursday, when the train stopped at Broadview Station. Suddenly, she and other passengers heard someone crying out for help.
“It was getting louder: ‘Help me. Help me, please,’” says Caniglia, who was sitting in the front car with three other passengers.
“We got up and looked out, at which point we noticed a gentleman on the westbound track, lying there with a walking stick. He said he was blind and injured and couldn’t move.”
A man on the train with her ran out in front of the subway car and crossed the tracks. The conductor yelled at the man saying that he could be electrocuted by the third rail. The operator jumped out and pushed an emergency button that Caniglia believed cut the power to the tracks.
“To jump down onto a track when a train is going to come is really scary, and this guy just did it,” she says. “He just reacted.”
She says two other men arrived moments later and helped hoist the man to safety.
“Until he was up on the platform, I don’t think anyone breathed. It was like every second seemed like a minute,” she recalls. “When it happened, we all clapped and were hugging each other.”
The subway company, TTC, confirmed that the man fell accidentally and was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. There are emergency buttons at the ends of the platform that immediately cut the power to the tracks. And there are phones that connect customers to transit control.
The TTC says drivers are trained to stop immediately if they see anyone waving violently or gesturing on the platform.
“We don’t advise anyone to go to track level,” a TTC spokesperson said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the individual who fell at Broadview Station earlier today and we thank bystanders for their quick action and assistance.”
Caniglia posted the story on social media with a photo of the man, thanking him for his quick action.
“I really wanted to get this gentleman’s face out there because he’s such a Good Samaritan,” she says. “He really put his life at risk to help that individual on the tracks.”