The Perth commuter who made headlines around the world after getting his leg caught between a train carriage and the platform yesterday says he was in 'a bit of shock' as fellow passengers rallied to free him.
Public Transport Authority security vision shows passengers applauding and congratulating each other after they managed to tilt the carriage enough to release the man’s left leg from the 5cm gap he slipped through.
PTA staff who co-ordinated the rescue told passengers to do all they could to stop the carriage rocking back amid fears it could crush the man’s leg.
They did and their rescue was successful on the second attempt.
The man, known only as Andy, today spoke to Nine News about the 12-minute ordeal.
"I was just waiting to get on and my foot just slipped down there," he said.
"A child or an elderly lady or something could easily fall through this gap."
The 29-year-old disability pensioner said he had no idea the incident would create so much interest and had a message for the passengers who came to his aid.
"Just a message of thanks that the commuters who were probably held up and late for work took time to get out of the train and help tilt the train to free me."
He said he was in "a bit of shock" after being freed.
“I was sort of a bit wobbly on my feet, it took me a while to sort of get my balance,” he said
Andy did not require medical treatment and continued his journey on the Perth-bound train, thankful that he was not injured.
"The outcome could have been terrible," he said.
"Worst case scenario, I could have lost a leg."
Morning peak hour passengers at Stirling station yesterday described their elation when Andy was pulled to his feet.
“He was a bit embarrassed,”Innaloo passenger Renae Bryant said.
“People were pleased and clapped but they tried to leave him be.”
Ms Bryant said passengers first realised something was wrong when the driver announced a “medical emergency” at the station.
She watched as dozens of people took up every space on the platform to try to sway the carriage.
“On the second push, he was out,” Ms Bryant said.
Ballajura university student Jake Smith, 18, said he suggested to PTA guards that fellow commuters push the carriage sideways.
"At first they were trying to pull him out and asking everyone to move to the back of the train and I was like 'It's not going to work, let's just all get out and push'," he said.
"And then everyone started pushing and we got him out."
Security vision shows the man take a step backwards into the gap as one of the last people to board the crowded carriage about 8.50am. Another passenger quickly alerted station staff, who signalled for the driver to halt the six-car train.
In a video posted on YouTube today, the man is heard speaking to station staff about his leg being “locked right in” the gap.
“His leg’s very very firmly stuck… he wants the passengers here to help pull him out,” a man, thought to be a station staff member, said.
“I don’t know how long this guy’s going to be stuck here.”
A woman talking on a two-way radio then suggests all the passengers move to one end of the carriage before a man suggests “we all get off and push the train”.
When the man’s leg is finally freed, passengers are heard congratulating each other and cheering.
“People power has prevailed, we’ve got him off, he’s got his leg free,” the station staff member said.
Transperth spokesman David Hynes said a station staffer first suggested passengers move to one side of the carriage to transfer weight off the man’s thigh.
After this was unsuccessful, passengers were asked to leave the train and push the carriage to tilt it away from the platform and off the man’s leg.
Mr Hynes said the rescue was co-ordinated carefully and passengers were instructed to try to hold the carriage away from the platform to stop it tipping back on to the man.
“It had to be a concerted effort to hold it there and stop it rocking back,” Mr Hynes said. “We were aware of that possibility and the staff took steps to stop that.”
Passenger Nic said they were able to move the train 5-10cm.
He said the man walked freely after his ordeal, which caused a 15-minute delay on the Joondalup line.
St John Ambulance paramedics were on standby but the man, who was apparently going to work, declined medical help.
He seemed unfazed and stayed at the station to catch the next train to the city.
Mr Hynes said the station met the “latest accessibility standards in terms of the gap between platform and train”. He said he had to field inquiries from news outlets around the world.
More than 150,000 internet users viewed security video of the incident on thewest.com.au yesterday afternoon.
Mr Hynes thanked the passengers involved and congratulated staff for their quick thinking.
“We hear a lot about poor behaviour on public transport,” Mr Hynes said. “It’s really great when something like this happens and people work together to help a fellow commuter.”
The BBC broadcast the incident across Britain and newspapers including the Miami Herald and India Times reported the story.