Commuters in a West Philadelphia train station leaped into action today after a woman’s baby stroller containing her 14-month-old daughter fell onto the train tracks and the mother climbed down to rescue the child.
The incident, captured on surveillance video, occurred at 12:46 p.m. at the 56th Street station on the Market-Frankford line of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) transit system.
Video from the station’s surveillance camera showed the woman standing in front of the stroller on the eastbound platform at the elevated station. It was not clear from the video what the woman was doing, but the stroller slowly started to roll away from her, and it kept going until it fell over the edge of the platform and landed on the tracks about four feet below.
The woman climbed down onto the tracks, and the video showed several other passengers rushing to her aid.
The woman could be seen hoisting the baby up into the air and one of the waiting passengers taking the child. After the woman handed the baby up to one of the riders on the platform, they helped her up.
The track’s third rail is electrified. The woman and her child were not near that rail, Andrew Busch, a spokesman for SEPTA, told ABCNews.com this evening.
The child was taken to the hospital and treated for cuts and bruises, Busch said, adding that the child was still in the hospital this evening.
The child’s mother, Temeka Greer, 28, of Philadelphia, was not charged by police, Busch said.
Busch commended Greer’s fellow passengers for rushing to her aid. He said one of the Good Samaritans pressed a button on the station’s callbox, alerting personnel to the emergency. They immediately stopped train traffic, Busch said.
“It’s a great story of people helping out someone in distress, the way the other passengers reacted and particularly the one who had the presence of mind to press the call button and help us get train traffic stopped so that nothing more serious happened,” he said.
The trains run about every eight minutes at that time of day. While there was no train on the immediate approach, Greer said there was a train at the station preceding the 56th Street stop.
Busch said Greer may have been distracted for a brief moment and taken her hand of the stroller handlebar, and that the stroller’s brake was not engaged.
It “just kind of happened that quickly,” he said, urging the system’s riders to be aware.
SEPTA System Safety Director Scott Sauer said he was shaken by what he saw on the video.
“It’s heart-wrenching because you can anticipate it, because the stroller does start to move at a very slow rate of speed and it kind of builds up,” Sauer said in an interview with ABC News TV affiliate WPVI in Philadelphia. ”You want to tell someone to grab the stroller.”
The baby did not fall out of the stroller when it landed on the tracks.
ABCNews.com could not reach Greer for comment this evening.