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Home   Medway   News   Article

Video: Moment trapped Kent passenger is rescued from path of Southeastern train at Strood station by Billy McPhail and Gareth Acres

04 June 2014
by KentOnline reporter

This is the heart-stopping moment a woman was saved from a railway line at Strood station - seconds before a train arrived.

The passenger became trapped when she tumbled onto the track while running to catch her train moments before a high-speed service was due.

Heroes Billy McPhail and Gareth Acres sprang into action when they heard a thud.

Passengers try to slow the train as the woman is trapped on the tracks at Strood. Picture Southeastern

Passengers try to slow the train as the woman is trapped on the tracks at Strood. Picture: Southeastern

Soldier Mr McPhail, 26, jumped onto the track and ran across to reach the stricken woman before Mr Acres then joined him next to the live rails.

The woman, known only as Barbara and thought to be in her 60s, was pulled onto the platform and taken to hospital with a broken ankle.

Now video of the daring rescue, at 6am on Thursday, has emerged from the Southeastern train's camera.

It shows terrified commuters signalling for the driver to slow down while the woman's rescuers were on the track.

Scroll down for video

Billy McPhail outside Strood station where he helped save a woman's life

Billy McPhail outside Strood station where he helped save a woman's life

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

"I wasn't frightened or anything, I guess the adrenaline 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. It happened so quickly, I didn't have time to think."

The woman is dragged onto the platform at Strood with seconds to spare. Picture Southeastern

The woman is dragged onto the platform at Strood with seconds to spare. Picture: Southeastern

Passengers tend to the woman after her track ordeal. Picture Southeastern

Passengers tend to the woman after her track ordeal. Picture: Southeastern

Shocked commuters on the platform after a fellow passenger was nearly run over by a train. Picture Southeastern

Shocked commuters on the platform after a fellow passenger was nearly run over by a train. Picture: Southeastern

Father-of-one Mr Acres, from Lancelot Avenue, Strood, who was travelling to London, said it was an instinctive thing to rush to the aid of the woman.

He said: "I saw her lying there, her foot was at a 90 degree angle to her leg. It was just so quick I did it without thinking about the dangers.

"I see the lady every morning as I get the train, I think she lives nearby as she was able to call her husband and he got there before the ambulance took her away."

Video: Footage from the train shows the moment a woman was rescued from the tracks 

Mr Acres, 30, added: "If that had happened to a family member or friend of mine, I would have hoped someone would have helped them too."

Other commuters alerted station staff, who warned all train drivers coming into the station to show caution and slow down.

Gareth Acres, from Strood, leapt in to help a woman who fell in front of a train

Gareth Acres, from Strood, leapt in to help a woman who fell in front of a train

Security guard Kieran Moore, 19, who was on his way to work at the St George's Shopping Centre in Gravesend, said: "I was just leaning on the lamppost when I saw the other guys run across the tracks.

"I looked down and saw the woman, she was in some distress.

"After she was lifted up I helped carry her on the stretcher with the other guys and the paramedics, she was in a lot of pain.

"But she thanked us, she was very grateful."

Security guard Kieran Moore alerted station staff to the woman's plight

Security guard Kieran Moore alerted station staff to the woman's plight

A spokesman for Southeastern said a full investigation had been launched, and added: "Although their actions were commendable we would never encourage passengers to get onto the track themselves as 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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