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TSA Worker Jumps Onto Tracks, Saves Woman From Oncoming Train

Eddie Palacios shuns hero tag, credits TSA training for his response

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Watch a train stop 20 feet before hitting a woman laying on the Blue Line tracks. (Published Wednesday, Apr 2, 2014)

    A Transportation Security Administration employee is being hailed as a hero for putting his life on the line to save a woman laying on Chicago Transit Authority train tracks Wednesday.

    But to hear Eddie Palacios tell it, he did nothing out of the ordinary.

    TSA Worker Describes Train Track Rescue

    [CHI] TSA Worker Describes Train Track Rescue
    Eddie Palacios describes how he jumped down onto the tracks to flag down an oncoming Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line train after a woman fell onto the tracks. (Published Thursday, Apr 3, 2014)

    "I told one co-worker, maybe another one that was there but I really didn't tell anybody because it wasn't a big deal. I got up and went on the train and went to work," Palacios said Thursday morning.

    DNAInfo.com/chicago radio reporter Jon Hansen was on his way to work Wednesday when he saw the woman fall from the Blue Line platform at the Chicago Avenue station just as a train was approaching.

    "Everyone just kind of let out a gasp. You could hear it audibly in Chicago station. And everyone starts waving their hands and screaming, 'No,'" Hansen said.

    That's when Palacios, wearing a bright orange University of Illinois sweatshirt, jumped onto the track to get the attention of the train operator. The train stopped 20 feet in front of the woman.

    "When the man jumps down and starts waving, you just freeze in a way, it's so compelling to watch, it's almost as if you can't look away," Hansen said.

    Hansen introduced himself to the man -- who initially said his name was Edgar -- and identified himself as a reporter.

    "It almost seemed to him like it was his duty, and he didn't think anything of it. And he wasn't looking for praise, he immediately got on the train when it got to the station and left like nothing. It was really quite an act of heroism," Hansen said.

    NBC Chicago later tracked "Edgar" down and learned it was really Eddie Palacios.

    "It was nothing really," Palacios said. "At the TSA they teach us sensitivity. They teach us how to respond to certain situations."

    He said he later caught some flak from his son, who learned of the incident from Hansen's video.

    "My son, he was very upset," Palacios recalled. "He called me [and said] 'What's wrong with you? What are you thinking?' ... 'You jumped on the track!' ... So I can understand why he was kind of, a little upset."

    Another witness said she tried to pull the woman off of the tracks as the train was coming, but was unsuccessful.