World

Train conductor loses leg saving elderly woman

A train conductor jumped off the train he was on to rescue an elderly woman crossing the railway track in China's Sichuan province, but lost his right leg in the process.

Mr Xu Qiankai, 29, has been hailed a hero for his actions last Thursday in saving the life of the 65-year- old woman, who is hearing-impaired and did not hear his warning cries, according to Chongqing Evening News.

Mr Xu, who was carrying out shunting operations as usual, pulled the emergency brake immediately upon spotting the woman.

He also attempted to catch her attention by shouting and whistling.

But the woman did not react, and with the train less than 10m away and unable to stop in time, Mr Xu jumped off and pushed her away from the track, Chongqing Evening News reported. He was unable to get his right leg out of the way in time.

Surveillance footage showed Mr Xu lying on the ground in pain, but he still had the presence of mind to check if the woman was harmed. He was taken to hospital, where doctors were forced to amputate his leg, said Chongqing Evening News.

In a touching gesture, the woman was later pictured kneeling before Mr Xu's hospital bed to show her gratitude.

Beijing-based English news channel CGTN, the international arm of state broadcaster CCTV, reported that Mr Xu is a military veteran who recently transferred back to work at Rongchang Station of the Chengdu Railway Bureau.

He had wanted to stay closer to his parents and take care of them, as he is their only child.

"I have no regrets losing a leg to save a life," he said in an interview, adding that the only guilt he felt was towards his parents.

Station deputy director Bai Ying said there were signs around the track to warn people off crossing it, but many turn a blind eye to them.

- THE STRAITS TIMES

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