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'I couldn’t have done it alone': Strangers who rescued man from subway tracks honoured
Rachael D'Amore, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, July 10, 2018 3:52PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 10, 2018 4:31PM EDT
Three TTC riders have been awarded for their quick-thinking after they jumped into action, saving a visually-impaired man who had fallen on the tracks.
Kyle Busquine and Jehangir Faisal were onboard an eastbound train pulling into Broadview Station on June 28 when they heard the faint sound of a man’s voice calling out for help.
The two men and a group of other passengers got off the train, looked across to the westbound platform to see a man lying on the tracks.
Busquine and Faisal wasted no time and leapt onto the tracks. They rushed over to the westbound tracks and tended to the man, who told them he thought he had broken his leg.
“We just jumped to it together,” Faisal told reporters at City Hall, where they were all honoured on Tuesday.
“It was literally adrenaline… it kicks in. In all fairness, it happened so quickly that you don’t really think about it. You just do it.”
Busquine said by the time he got there, Faisal and a third passenger, Julio Cabrera, were already trying to lift the injured man.
“I arrived on the platform the man was lying on. The train had just left and I ran to the end because these two girls were screaming,” Cabrera said. “We just grabbed him and put him on the platform.”
Standing on the opposite platform, fellow passengers watched in awe as the trio pulled the man to safety.
Once they pulled the man back up to the platform, one woman snapped a photo of them.
Busquine, wearing a white patterned T-shirt, can be seen in the photo wiping sweat from his brow.
“I’m just really grateful we were able to get the man out of harm’s way and into safety and do it very quickly,” Busquine said. “I couldn’t have done it alone.”
That woman later wrote about the heroic actions of the three passengers on Facebook. She published the photo of them along with the story and the post quickly garnered thousands of shares.
The three men say they’re not quite used to the amount of attention they’ve received.
“It’s still a little bit surreal. I think all three of us can agree we’re very blessed to be in this situation but we’re still adjusting to it,” Busquine said. “It’s a lot to take in all at once.”
Faisal, who came to Canada from Dublin, Ireland just days before the incident, said he only realized the traction the story garnered today. The civil engineer graduate said he doesn’t even think anyone back in his hometown knows about the story yet.
“I didn’t realize everybody was looking for me,” he said. “My neighbour called and told me that I was meeting the mayor today… I met these guys as well here for the first time since the incident.”
Cabrera, whose hairstyle made him the most easily identifiable, said the reaction to the story has been “insane.”
“I feel embarrassed, for one,” he said with a laugh. “I see things like this all the time. They’re not on a big scale but you see kindness in everyday life. I didn’t really see a big deal in this.”
The TTC later confirmed the incident, noting that another rider who noticed the man fall pressed the power-off button to prevent the next train from coming into the station.
The third rail is normally electrified, the TTC said, so by hitting the button the passenger cut power to the track.
The injured man has not yet been identified but the trio hopes he will be.
“I hope he’s okay,” Cabrera said.
“It would be nice to know how he’s doing,” Busquine added.
In the days following the rescue, Mayor John Tory caught wind of the rider’s heroic actions and invited them to City Hall for a TTC Board meeting to be formally thanked.
Tory called the act “extraordinary” and exemplary of “the Toronto way.”
“You did what everybody’s instinct would be to do and you did it in a way that brought credit to yourselves and great credit to the city,” he said. “Thank you on behalf of all of the people of Toronto.”
Each of the men were awarded a Presto card worth one year of free service.
“It’s really nice to be a part of a good story that connects to people,” Busquine said. “I think if everyone took time out of their day to help one another, the world would be a better place.”