by Elizabeth Hur
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A scare on a SEPTA platform resulted in a mom jumping into action to save her daughter, whose stroller tipped over onto the tracks.
Fortunately, the little girl will be okay but the fall caused quite a scare at the 56th Street station on the Septa El Wednesday afternoon.
The heart-stopping fall and the dramatic rescue – all caught on tape.
The child is just 14-months-old and officials say she was strapped in a jogging stroller and her mother was standing right next to her. But at some point, officials say something distracted the mother and she does not realize the stroller was getting away from her.
What you see on the Septa surveillance video is this: a stroller with the child inside, rolling off the platform and falling four feet down onto the tracks. This, officials say, was disaster averted by mere minutes.
“If the train’s moving, it could be less than a minute,” Scott Sauer said.
Sauer is SEPTA’s Director of System Safety and he is talking about the next inbound train. Sauer says the next train was just one stop away, less than a minute away from the 56th Street station.
But the video shows the mother quickly hopping down onto the tracks, picking up her little girl and handing her off to another customer on the platform. When everyone else is running toward her to help the mother off the tracks – one customer, a woman pushes a button on the emergency call box just 19 seconds into the incident. That quick action, Septa officials say, potentially saved lives on this day.
Sauer explained, “It was really smart thinking on her part that she made a conscious effort to hit that button. That emergency call box is a direct link to our Septa police department and because of that system, we were able to stop the train, the nearest train at 60th Street station. We were able to get that message out to our train crews and avert this tragedy.”
We are told the emergency call boxes are on the platform at every stop for use in case of an emergency. In this case, officials say the little girl suffered only cuts to her head and should recover fully. Because what happened appears to be an accident, officials say the 28-year-old mother is not facing any criminal charges.
But Septa officials hope this incident serves as a reminder to all riders to remember two things: “Number one is make sure that we know, the emergency call box is your best avenue, they’re on every station platform, you push the button, it’s the direct link to let our Septa police, they’re a stone’s throw away from our train dispatchers. Secondly, any violent movement by a customer to a train operator is a signal for them to stop. So any waving of the arms, waving of a towel or any type of violent movement, a train operator is going to know to stop.”