Tuesday, December 4, 2012

12-4-12 Surviving a Subway Train

This is how my mind works. I didn't expect to get a lesson surviving a subway train this morning, but you just never know what you're going to learn on any given day.

Here's how that happened:

1. I read a story on Yahoo news as I'm logging in to get my email about a manhunt for a guy who shoved another man into the subway tracks and then just got away while the victim was run over.

2. I look up the photo that the freelance photographer on the scene shot of the impending death. His story is that he was using his flash to try and alert the train driver. One problem, for me, is that the published photo is very well framed. Sure, you could square it up with in Photoshop, but it still pretty skeevy. No, I don't think the photographer could have pulled the man out in time. But I wish he'd have "used his flash" and not sold the photographs.

3. And then, I had to look up the possibility of surviving such an incident, not because I think I'll ever be in the situation (but, then, who does?) but because I just had to know, if there was a way, what would it be?

As it turns out, in most cases, had the man had the presence of mind and the inability to panic at the oncoming train, had he been able to lay flat in between the rails (the electric one is outside these two) the train would have rolled above him and he would have survived.

There was even a miraculous survival some 15 years ago in which a pregnant woman in Chicago blacked out and fell into the path of a coming train but landed in between the rails and was spared. 

More recently, there was the amazing story of a man who jumped down on top of another man who had fallen and pushed them both down between the rails and survived. 

And doing that quick search, it appears people fall into the tracks often enough that this is probably something you might want to create a signage for, so that riders see, all the time, what to do, instead of standing, frozen with fear, in the lights of an unavoidable train. 


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