An ad hoc team of five Long Island Rail Road workers saved the life of a man who got his shoes stuck between the tracks at the East New York station on Wednesday, officials said.
The workers sprang into action just after 7:29 a.m. after hearing a loud thud and noticing the “disoriented” man trapped in the tracks, the MTA said at a press event held in their honor on Thursday.
Three of the men stood watch to make sure trains did not enter the station, while the other two hopped onto the tracks, loosened the man’s shoes and rescued him from the rails, the heroes recounted.
“This guy was disoriented,” said Lawrence Woods, who ventured onto the roadbed with fellow LIRR conductor Shelwyn Henry.
“Shelwyn was doing everything he could to keep this guy from the touching the third rail. I did what I could to help,” Woods said.
“I was very nervous that he was going to touch that third rail.”
Gregory Hartley, who called the dispatcher to make sure trains did not enter the station, said the “very tight, intense situation” could have gone either way.
“That’s the type of tragedy you don’t want to see. You hear about it, but you never want to live through it and see it,” Hartley said.
The rescued man avoided injury and did not need medical attention, LIRR President Phil Eng said.
“They didn’t hesitate to go above and beyond to help a customer in need,” Eng said.
“Simply put, they saved his life yesterday.”
It was not immediately clear why the man was on the tracks.