June 29, 2018 10:40 am
Updated: June 29, 2018 11:32 pm

Bystanders leapt into action to rescue man who fell on Toronto subway tracks: witness

WATCH: Three men are being praised for their quick thinking after a man fell from the platform at Broadview subway station. Global News spoke with one, who says it simply came down to helping someone in need. Shallima Maharaj reports.


TORONTO —  Bystanders leapt into action to rescue a blind man who accidentally fell onto the subway tracks in Toronto, a witness said Friday.

Julie Caniglia said in an interview that a man on her eastbound train jumped down to the tracks Thursday afternoon and crossed over to the westbound platform to help the man.

“You just don’t know if there’s another train coming. He didn’t even think about it,” said Caniglia, adding the man had “guts.”

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She said she was inside the stopped subway train at Broadview station when she and other passengers heard cries for help. They got out of the train, she said, and looked across to the westbound platform.

“We noticed someone lying on the tracks … he had hurt himself,” she said.

READ MORE: Suspect charged with 1st-degree murder after man allegedly pushed in front of TTC subway train

A man next her then ran to the end of the platform to shut down the power to the tracks, she said. The Toronto Transit Commission driver told the bystander to be careful, as he could get electrocuted.

“The (driver) hit buttons to alert the oncoming train to stop and everything just shut down,”she said. “There was a lot of screaming about getting electrocuted.”

Two other men, who arrived on the westbound platform, also jumped down to help the first bystander pull the man back onto the platform, she said. The man who fell looked to be in shock, she added.

“Truly I was trembling. I just sort of walked out in a haze,” she said.

WATCH: TTC looking into possibility of safety barriers for subway platforms

But Caniglia said she wanted others to know who the good Samaritans were, so she posted a photo she took of them to social media. All three rescuers haven’t been identified.

“It was amazing. We all need a bit of positive reinforcement that there’s some great people out there,'” she said.

Sheri Hebdon was also on the same train as Caniglia, heading eastbound when she heard the cries for help.

“People’s first instinct was to run and help. It was clear people jumped down to the tracks, even before the power was off,” she said. “It was quite a dire situation.”

READ MORE: Toronto police ask for help identifying woman who fell in front of subway train

Hebdon said it’s nice to see the good in people.

“It can take an extreme moment to bring that out,” she said.

The incident has left Caniglia, a co-owner of the Rashers sandwich shops in the city, concerned about accidental falls onto the tracks.

“I have young kids, what if they accidentally tripped? We’re so vulnerable standing there on the platform,” she said.

Hebdon agreed with Caniglia.

“This idea of guards on the subway platform, hopefully that helps that along. The subway should be as safe as possible,” Hebdon said. “It’s worth considering.”

LISTEN: What should you do if you see someone on the subway tracks? 

The call for subway barriers to be installed on platforms has been renewed after a 73-year-old man was allegedly pushed to his death on June 18.

At the time, the TTC said it would cost more than $1 billion to install the barriers at every station. The TTC has already commissioned a study on the issue that is set to be completed in 2020.

A spokesman said the TTC was aware of Thursday’s incident, but have not identified the rescuers.

Kadeem Griffiths said the man was transported to hospital soon after.

He added that he recommends riders notify TTC personnel if there is an incident on track level.

View this post on Instagram

this afternoon I had the fright of my life. when my subway car pulled up at Broadview station I heard a faint voice call out “help, help me please”. it wasn’t coming from anyone in the car and after hearing it again I stood up and looked out on the platform. suddenly and all very quickly myself and the man beside me saw a man with a walking cane lying on the tracks. he is blind and had fallen and injured himself. without hesitation the man you see in this picture in the animal shirt jumped on to the tracks to pull him out. two other men showed up to help as well. thankfully this story has a happy ending. please pass this photo around, these men need to be recognized as good Samaritan’s.If they hadn’t reacted so quickly, the outcome would have been horrific #ttc #torontolife #torontotransitcommission #heroes #torontothegood #goodnews

A post shared by julie caniglia (@julie_can) on


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