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Home   Medway   News   Article

Hero soldier Billy McPhail tells of moment he rescued woman at Strood station after she falls onto tracks

30 May 2014
by Lynn Cox

A hero who helped save a woman's life after she fell onto train tracks said he acted without thinking of the dangers to himself.

Billy McPhail sprang into action with another man at Strood station when the passenger tripped and fell onto the rails just moments before a high-speed train.

It happened on platform two shortly after 6am on Thursday as the woman - known only as Barbara - was running to get the train.

Billy McPhail helped save a woman' life after she fell on tracks at Strood

Billy McPhail helped save a woman' life after she fell on tracks at Strood

The woman is believed to have broken her ankle during the fall. The thud she made as she fell alerted Mr McPhail to her plight.

He bravely jumped onto the track in front of another train coming into the station, ran across the other track to reach the woman and tried to lift her out.

"I just jumped down to save her as the train was coming into the station - it was very close. I wasn't frightened or anything as I didn't really think about it. I guess the adrenalin just kicked in..." - Billy McPhail

Another man reading his paper then realised what was happening and also jumped onto the tracks to help lift the woman out.

Mr McPhail, a soldier who lives in Essex but was visiting his family in Medway, said: "I just didn't think of the dangers.

"I just jumped down to save her as the train was coming into the station - it was very close.

"I wasn't frightened or anything as I didn't really think about it. I guess the adrenalin just kicked in.

"It was only afterwards I started shaking when another man said how close I'd run in front of the train coming the other way.

"I just wanted to help the woman and get her out. The other guy helped me lift her out as I couldn't do it on my own.

"It happened so quickly - I didn't have time to think."

The have-a-go heroes jumped on the tracks to rescue the woman. Picture Google Street View

The have-a-go heroes jumped on the tracks to rescue the woman. Picture: Google Street View

Other commuters on the platform also alerted station staff, who warned all train drivers coming into the station to slow down.

The injured woman, who is thought to be in her 60s, is believed to still be in hospital and needs an operation on her broken ankle.

Mr McPhail added: "I called her husband later that night to see how she was and he said she had to have an operation."

Hero Billy McPhail was one of two men who saved a woman's life at Strood station

Hero Billy McPhail was one of two men who saved a woman's life at Strood station

Rail operator Southeastern confirmed the company has launched a "full investigation".

A spokesman said: "Although their actions were commendable we would never encourage passengers to get onto the track themselves and they could be in real danger.

"The first port of call is to alert station staff to the incident and they can get the power turned off on the track."

Click here for more news from Medway.

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