A soldier has told how he ran across live rails into the path of an oncoming train to rescue a woman who fell on the tracks.
Billy McPhail, 26, was standing on the opposite platform at Strood station in Kent when he heard “a loud thud” and a sound “like someone kicking stones on a gravel drive”.
Pensioner Barbara Smith had run and slipped on to the tracks.
He told Good Morning Britain: “Without even hesitating or thinking about the dangers, I scrambled off the bench I was sitting on and jumped off the platform on to the tracks, which is a dangerous thing, I don’t commend anyone to do that.”
He then heard the horn of a train coming down the track.
The dramatic rescue, complete with worried commuters trying to flag down the train to make it stop, was captured on the incoming train’s camera.
“People were screaming and shouting and hesitating but no one was getting down to help so I thought I have got to spring into action – if I don’t this lady is obviously going to lose her life,” said Mr McPhail who was travelling home to Essex last Thursday after visiting friends in Kent.
He saw that her ankle was bent the wrong way and she was obviously in distress.
Another traveller helped Mr McPhail move Mrs Smith as the train managed to stop a few yards away at the end of the platform.
Mr McPhail has since spoken to Mrs Smith’s husband who said that her ankle was broken and she was kept in hospital overnight.
The ITV breakfast show then linked up with Mrs Smith who told her rescuer: “I would just like to say thank you very much for saving my life, along with everybody else that helped because if it wasn’t for his quick actions I wouldn’t be here to tell the tale.”