Woman Falls Onto Electrified Tracks at SEPTA Station

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A woman who fell onto the electrified train tracks at a SEPTA station is alive thanks to the quick actions of passengers and workers. NBC10's Harry Hairston has the story and the video of the fall. (Published Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014)

    A woman is fighting for her life after she fell onto the subway tracks at a SEPTA station in South Philadelphia on Tuesday.

    Investigators say the woman was waiting at the Ellsworth-Federal station around 1:15 p.m.
    Surveillance video shows the woman waiting on the platform and moving across the yellow line towards the edge. She then suddenly falls off the platform and lands on the third rail, which is electrified and powers the train.

    “The electrical current runs through your body,” said SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel. “It interferes with your major organs. It can shut down your heart. It can cause death and it often does.”

    Investigators say that likely would have happened to the woman if not for the quick actions of passengers and SEPTA workers who shut down the power to the rail and notified authorities.

    Responding firefighters and other crews were able to rescue the woman. She was taken to Jefferson University Hospital 20 minutes after the fall.

    “Everybody on that platform either ran to help or ran up to the cashier to notify SEPTA,” Nestel said. “She is still alive because of the great work of the fire department and Jefferson Hospital." 

    The woman, who has not yet been identified, is currently in serious condition. Police say she got on the platform without paying.

    SEPTA officials say the woman’s fall should serve as a warning to passengers to stay behind the yellow line on train platforms and never lean over the tracks.

    The incident was the first of two accidents to occur at a SEPTA station on Tuesday. Three people were hurt after a SEPTA train slammed into a vehicle early Tuesday evening in the Kingsessing section of the city.