Woman Survives Fall Onto Subway’s Third Rail

By Jeffrey Cramer

Apr 30, 2014 3:29pm

A Philadelphia woman who tumbled off a subway platform and hit the electrified third rail was saved by witnesses who rushed to her rescue.

“She’s lucky to be alive,” said Andrew Busch, a spokesman for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. “Often times a fall like this results in death.”

The woman, who has not been publicly identified, fell onto the tracks at the Ellsworth-Federal station in Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon.

The woman’s leg touched the third rail,  which carries 700 volts of electricity, sending a powerful jolt through her body.

Witnesses saw the woman fall and rushed over to help. No train was approaching and power was cut to the line for about an hour as a precaution.

The South Philadelphia woman was taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital in serious condition.

“Everyone who helped did the right thing. The quick response by witnesses and employees gave her a chance,” Busch told ABC News. “Had there not been a quick response, there most likely would have been a different result.”

The woman is still hospitalized.

“Whenever something like this happens, it’s an opportunity to remind the public of the dangers of being near the track,” Busch told ABC News. “You need to be aware of your surroundings and do not walk dangerously close to the track.”

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