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Hero saves woman in rail track terror

A PRISON officer has spoken about the terrifying moments he spent risking his life to drag a woman from underneath an underground train. John Lewis dodged live wires to haul her to safety amid potentially lethal live tracks.

As passengers watched, Mr Lewis, of Higham, near Gravesend, braved the power lines at Shepherds Bush underground station to comfort the 40-year-old and pull her to safety before the emergency services arrived.

Mr Lewis had been travelling home form Wormwood Scrubs prison with a colleague. He said: "Two people ran past us in the carriage and we were told that the driver had run over someone. We came out onto the platform and there were a lot of distressed people. The driver was distraught and there were women crying and screaming."

Mr Lewis, 51, asked officials where the woman was and they pointed to the back of the train. He said: "I took hold of the situation by asking someone where she was. I said I would go down there and have a look."

He squeezed between the carriage and the platform, and dropped onto the track.

"I didn't have a torch, but after calling out I got a whimpering voice," he said. "I got a dialogue with the woman and told her to keep still. After I had been down there a while, I was told the electricity was off and I helped pull her out - the emergency services arrived just afterwards."

The former Hoo fireman and Meopham police constable added: "She told me she was going to commit suicide in the river, but decided to throw herself off the platform. I knew I was capable and if anyone there had a chance of recovering her it was me."

An Underground spokesman said Mr Lewis had risked his life to save the woman. If he had touched the rail, which was pumping out more than 600 volts while on the track, he could have been killed.

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