Woman survives fall on electrified train line

PHILADELPHIA (CNN/KYW) — A Pennsylvania woman is lucky to be alive after falling onto train tracks in Philadelphia.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, or SEPTA, platform on the Broad Street line at Ellsworth and Federal was active at midday, until a commuter — a woman in tan pants, seemingly unsteady on her feet — fell on the tracks, coming in contact with the electrified third rail.

“Not too many people live after coming in contact with the third rail,” said SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel. “That is down there to run a major train operation, and it is certainly not meant to be touched by a human body. She’s lucky.”

Commuter Francine Johnson saw the whole incident.

“She kept leaning over; she leaned back. The second time, she leaned over again. The third time, looked over, she was just on the tracks. She was laying there,” said Johnson. “I ran upstairs, ran up and banged on the thing and told the lady. They turned it off. She laying for maybe, like, a minute or so…like, and just like…shaking.”

Johnson was among the many bystanders on the platform who went for help.

“Everybody on that platform either ran to help or ran up to the cashier to notify SEPTA of what was occurring,” said Nestel.

SEPTA officials are commending the first responders.

The woman fell at 1:18 p.m. Emergency personnel had her on a stretcher and headed to Jefferson University Hospital at 1:34 p.m. — 16 minutes later.

“People have to be aware of what they’re doing in our system, and this is a tragedy when somebody doesn’t pay attention,” said Nestel.

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