Straphanger lauded after rescuing man

Straphanger lauded after rescuing man from NYC subway tracks
March 20, 2008 3:19:09 PM PDT
Another subway hero tonight-- a man jumped on the tracks to save a man who had fallen down.This time both managed to get off the tracks just in the nick of time.

Eyewitness News reporter Michelle Charlesworth has the story.

It happened at Columbia's stop at 116th Street. And this is the hero, 46-year-old Veeramuthu Kalimuthu, who is strong and fit. But at 5'5'' and 150 pounds is no hulking giant.

Kali says he's just a proud dad and husband. His kids are Christopher and Stephanie and that his own son didn't believe his story!

"He fell over there and people were screaming," said Kali.

People were hysterical. A man faced down on the tracks. People calling 911 but nobody was moving.

"I jump on the track. I ran to get this guy," said Kali.

But there's more. This went down at rush hour. So both platforms were packed. So this isn't just a story about the fact that one person jumped in to help -- but that so many others, didn't.

"I heard somebody say, "oh my god, somebody fell down on the tracks,"" said eyewitness Ed DiJoseph. "People got out their cell phone and call 911."

Thing is the guy, Kali rescued, has 30 pounds on him. And he was deadweight passed out cold.

After Kali picked him up -- it took two "other" men to hoist him on the platform.

Witness Ed DiJoseph says the fallen man was rescued only a minute before the arrival of a train that could have crushed him. NYC Transit spokesman James Anyansi says the man was taken to a hospital.

Medics were called but we don't know how the saved man is or whether Kali's son -- finally believes him.