Friday, March 21, 2008
Now, this is a hero.
Subway Miracle: Hero Beats Long Odds To Make Save
Columbia U. Worker Leaps Across 3 Tracks During Rush Hour To Save Much Bigger Man
ReportingCindy Hsu NEW YORK (CBS) ― You're about to meet a subway hero, who jumped onto the tracks to save a man. But as CBS 2 HD has learned, his leap of faith was just the beginning. Veeramuthu Kalimuthu -- or Kali – is a mechanic at Columbia University. His recent actions make him a hero in the truest sense of the word.
And if not for someone else coming forward to tell his story, the public would never know what he did on March 14.
At around 5 p.m. that day he headed to the downtown No. 1 train at 116th Street in Morningside Heights to go home to Jamaica. "I heard everybody was screaming, you know, and everybody was running in different direction," Kalimuthu said. A man had fallen onto the tracks from the opposite platform, all the way on the other side of the station. "People were getting their cell phones out trying to call the police, somebody's got to help him and then I looked over and I saw the gentlemen Kali jump down, hop over the rails," said witness Ed Dijoseph, who brought Kali's story to CBS 2 HD.
Kali made it across three sets of tracks, and knew about the three third rails, which are electrified with 600 volts -- enough to push a 400-ton train. "I was jumping from one over one rail, to over the next rail, over the next rail until I get to him," Kali said. Just getting to the man was hard enough, but once he got to him he had to deal with the fact that the victim was a good 30-40 pounds heavier than he was. Kali is just 5-foot-5 and 150 pounds. Add to that the fact that at 5 p.m. rush hour trains come through that section of track every three minutes. "He was trying to lift the guy up, but he was struggling because the guy who fell was bigger than him," Dijoseph said.
With the help of someone on the platform, Kali hoisted the guy up. "I think within a minute after he got the man up the train heading Uptown came by," Dijoseph said. "If Kali hadn't moved him I truly … I really believe that the train would've killed him." The hero then jumped across the tracks again, back to his platform and his train home to his wife and two children.
"People should help people," Kali said. "If all of us get along well in this world then we'll get a better world to live." Kali says he hopes to meet the man he saved one day, but so far he's not come forward. A NYC Transit spokesperson said the victim was reportedly intoxicated and taken to a local hospital.