A crowd of commuters packed into a train bound for Perth, Australia during rush hour on Wednesday morning just as on any other day. Then, suddenly, a man seemed to fall to the ground — his leg had slipped through the small gap between the train and the platform.
It happened in a split second. First he was standing near the doorway, then he seemed to drop. Passengers and crew members tried and failed for several minutes to pull him free, as the train remained parked on the platform.
“He was walking so he was reasonably OK,” one passenger Nicolas Taylor told Perth Now News. “He seemed to be a bit sheepish, because right where he fell was the ‘mind the gap’ writing.”
After more than 10 excruciating minutes, someone came up with a plan. Transit staff got everyone off the train, and organized enough passengers who could use brute force to push the train away from the platform, Transperth spokesman David Hynes told ABC News Australia.
One by one, they put their shoulders into the effort. Some pitched in with the work suits on, their backpacks, purses and briefcases slung across their shoulders. After a few failed initial tries, the man was freed and applause broke out on the platform.
“Everyone sort of pitched in,” Hynes told ABC. “It was people power that saved someone from possibly quite serious injury.”
The man was offered medical care but wasn’t seriously injured and he boarded a later train to his final destination, Hynes told Perth Now News.
Watch the video for yourself here: