Woman hurt falling onto third rail on Broad St. Line

Surveillance video shows a woman looking down the track at the Ellsworth-Federal station seconds before falling.
Surveillance video shows a woman looking down the track at the Ellsworth-Federal station seconds before falling.
Posted: May 01, 2014

A woman was hospitalized in serious condition Tuesday after falling onto an electrified rail at a subway station in South Philadelphia, SEPTA officials said.

Surveillance video shows the woman, 35, leaning over to peer down the track for the next train on the northbound side at the Ellsworth-Federal station on the Broad Street Line.

At 1:18 p.m., the woman crossed the yellow warning line and tumbled into the track area, touching the third rail with her right leg, Transit Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel 3d said.

The contact caused an "explosion," Nestel said. Video shows people on the platform running upstairs to get help, and then a cashier rushing down with a wooden broom in case she needed to move the woman away from the electrified rail.

The rail was deactivated within three minutes, and Fire Department rescuers carried the woman out of the station at 1:32 p.m. She was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

"Everybody did the right thing today," Nestel said. "Nobody was out there taking video of this poor person on the tracks."

The woman appeared to have fallen accidentally, Nestel said. She evaded paying the fare when she entered the station, he said.


bmoran@phillynews.com

215-854-5983

@RobertMoran215

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