Beijing Commuters Rescue Trapped Man by Pushing Subway Train Off Him
In a shining display of solidarity, over a hundred Beijingers were able to rescue a man caught in the gap between a subway and the platform at Dongzhimen Station by physically pushing a subway off him.
As depicted in a video taken at the scene, dozens of people coordinated their efforts to widen the gap between the train and the platform. With their hands pushing against the side of the subway, the volunteers repeatedly shout "1, 2, 3!" as onlookers cheer them on with cries of "Jiayou!" ("Let'g go!").
At the end of the video, the good samaritans stop pushing and spontaneously erupt into applause, their hands held over their head in triumph as someone signaled the trapped victim had been successfully freed.
Among the rescurers were a contingent of soldiers who were first to inadvertently arrive at the scene around 8pm yesterday evening. Upon hearing that someone had become stuck in the gap between the subway and the platform, Captain Zhu Xiaoyong said he and 17 other soliders offered their services to the Dongzhimen Station staff.
However, no matter how hard they pushed, they were unable to have any effect. That's when he heard something surprising. "I was using all my strength to push the train when I faintly heard someone call out if we wanted the masses to help out," said Zhu.
Wang Dong was just a bystander before he was roused into action by the same cry.
"Dozens of soldiers were strenuously trying to push the train when, all of a sudden, someone in the crowd said, 'Do you want the masses to help out?'" said Wang.
Captain Zhu said the entire experience was a moving one for him. "Saving people is our job. I never thought I would see so many ordinary people voluntarily helping out," said Zhu. "It was very moving."
Wang was likewise affected, simply saying: "It was such a positive experience!"
But as much of a tremendous display of civic pride and altruism as this is, there is a darker side to this story.
Later yesterday night, the Beijing Metro released a surveillance video that showed what happened before the rescue. As the video shows, a man waiting for on the Dongzhimen Station platform suddenly leapt over the newly-installed platform safety barrier as the subway rolled into the station. Giving no visual indication of what he was about to do, the unidentified man was not able to traverse the safety barrier ahead of the oncoming train, and became stuck in the barrier in-between as the subway continued to roll forward.
Even though the man was successfully rescued by the good samaritans, his current condition is unknown. The man, described as being in his 30s, was transferred to the head trauma unit of the the Military General Hospital of the People's Liberation Army with unspecified head injuries.
The man's motives, or any other details, have not been made clear aside from his mother's admission that he suffered from chronic insomnia.
Due to their design and decade of use, the subway platforms along Lines 1 and 2 were among the last in China to be installed with safety barriers this past June. Mandatory for new subway stations, the barriers are supposed to deter people from making suicide attempts.
Subway platform safety barriers were involved in the death of a 33-year-old Beijing woman in 2014 when she was crushed to death as a subway departed Huixinxijie Nankou Station while she was caught in the space in-between. Another similar fatal accident occurred on the Shanghai Metro in 2007.
More stories from this author here.