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Trainspotter

Subway hero races 1 train, saves life

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Subway hero races 1 train, saves life

By NICOLE LYN PESCE

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

March 20th 2008

 

[float=right]amd_rescuer.jpg

Joyce for News

Veeramuthu Kalimuthu of Queens revisits

116th St. platform, near spot where he

raced to save man who fell onto tracks

Friday.[/float]A Columbia University mechanic jumped onto the subway tracks and bounded across the deadly third rail to rescue a stranger, witnesses said Wednesday.

 

Hero Veeramuthu Kalimuthu hoisted the unconscious man to safety on the northbound No. 1 line at the 116th St. station but, like the Lone Ranger, didn't wait around for a thank you.

 

He promptly dashed back across the tracks to the southbound side to catch a train to start his trip home to Queens as onlookers applauded wildly.

 

"I just sprang into action," said Kalimuthu, known as Kali to his friends. "If you are in a position to help somebody, you help somebody."

 

Kalimuthu was hurrying along the downtown platform just after 5 p.m. Friday when he heard a commotion. A straphanger had toppled unconscious off the opposite platform.

 

"Everyone was screaming and running in different directions," he said. "There was no time to think. I had to do what I had to do."

 

In a selfless act similar to subway superman Wesley Autrey, Kalimuthu said he jumped onto the tracks 5 feet below.

 

"I wasn't scared because I knew which one the third rail was," said the 46-year-old husband and father. "Like a little rabbit, I was just jumping across!"

 

The unconscious man, dressed in jeans, a flannel shirt and work boots, was lying in the middle of the uptown tracks.

 

"He wasn't saying anything. He was lifeless," Kalimuthu said.

 

The victim also was bigger than the modest mechanic, a 5-foot-5, 150-pound cricket player from Guyana.

 

"He's a heavy guy, about 180 pounds," Kalimuthu said. "But I looked and no train was coming, so we had a little time."

 

"He was totally dead weight, like a rag doll," agreed Ed DiJoseph, assistant university secretary at Columbia, who witnessed the rush-hour rescue from the downtown platform. "I could see he was struggling to lift the guy."

 

Kalimuthu managed to haul him over his shoulder in a fireman's carry and pass him up to someone on the uptown platform.

 

"Within a minute of him having done that, an uptown train came," DiJoseph said. "I truly believe his acting that quickly saved that man's life."

 

After making sure the unidentified man was cared for, Kalimuthu darted back across to the downtown platform.

 

"I don't know why I didn't take the stairs," he said. "I wasn't feeling anything until I sat on the train, and then I realized, you know, I just saved some guy!"

 

Kalimuthu said he hopes the man comes forward so he can meet him. "I would like to know if he's okay," he said. "I don't know if he got hurt."

 

NYC Transit spokesman James Anyansi said the man, who was reportedly intoxicated, fell onto the trackbed and was taken to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital.

 

If you are the man Kalimuthu rescued, or know who he is, please call (212) 210-1667.

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Wow, great rescue!

 

One thing though, there are always people falling onto tracks along the (1) line most....

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Wow, great rescue!

 

One thing though, there are always people falling onto tracks along the (1) line most....

 

And they are being rescued near colleges.

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Wow, great rescue!

 

One thing though, there are always people falling onto tracks along the (1) line most....

 

Yeah I agree, thats actually something I noticed a lot lately, it seems like the (1) has a lot of these incidents. Great story and god bless that guy. Finally the Guyanese get some notice. :) (We broke the Barrier) :D

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