UK pedestrians band together to lift double-decker bus off trapped cyclist

TORONTO – An extraordinary moment of cooperation was caught on camera Thursday in London, England, as dozens of pedestrians came to the aid of a man trapped under a double-decker bus.

Cellphone video recorded from a building in London’s Walthamstow district shows us the remarkable scene as over 50 people gather around the number 212 bus, which is stopped on Hoe Street around 6 p.m.

Underneath the bus: a 55-year-old unicyclist, trapped under the front wheel of the bus following a rush hour traffic accident.

According to the London Evening Standard, people rushed to the scene from all around, even from nearby cafes and restaurants, after they heard the accident.

“I was standing at the till and heard a loud noise. It was a big bang. We thought it was a shotgun or something,” Sami Ullah, owner of the Directors Cut café, told the Standard.

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“All of a sudden we saw people leaving their chairs at Turtle Bay and Pizza Express and running towards the road. We saw people actually coming out of the bus as well. Everybody was shouting and screaming.”

Cellphone video shows a crowd of dozens gathered against the side of the bus, trying to tilt the 12-tonne vehicle enough to get the trapped man free.

Incredibly, the crowd is successful, and the unidentified man is pulled from beneath the bus.

“There must have been at least 50 people all coming together to actually lift the double decker bus off him,” Bushra Khalid, who was part of the crowd, told The Daily Express.

“It was amazing. A lady who had first aid training was assisting. We just hope he is okay.”

London Metropolitan Police issued the following statement on the incident:

“Police were called at 5.50pm to a bus in collision with a unicyclist in Hoe Street, E17. The male unicyclist was taken by ambulance to an east London hospital where his condition is believed to be serious. The bus – a route 212 – stopped at the scene. There has been no arrest. Roads closures are in place.”

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One woman who saw the remarkable scene called it a testament to the compassion of the Walthamstow neighbourhood, one of the most culturally diverse in all of London.

“I’m really amazed at the strength of Walthamstow. No one hesitated to push the bus off. I was in shock,” witness Kyra Sam said. “Everyone really came together to help – it was really nice to see that in the face of something so awful.”

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