Polish train driver hailed for selfless act

160723 Szymanski

WARSAW • Just seconds before the train he was driving crashed into a truck on the railway tracks, Mr Mateusz Szymanski sprinted through carriages to warn passengers.

And for his quick-thinking actions, Mr Szymanski has been lauded for saving his passengers from more severe injuries.

CCTV footage of the event that transpired during the train ride from Wagroweic to Poznan in western Poland showed the train driver dashing past a carriage as passengers quickly flung themselves to the floor.

Mr Szymanski is then seen crouching on the ground, hand grabbing a handrail, as he braced himself for impact.

The train, which was travelling at around 110kmh, had just rounded a bend when Mr Szymanski spotted the stranded truck across the tracks.

He had about three seconds to react, and quickly pulled the emergency brakes before embarking on his warning run.

The footage also captured the moment the train crashed into the truck, with the impact damaging the front of the train and shattering its glass windscreen.

Although the incident occurred on April 19, several news sites reported the news only last week on May 13.

Speaking to Polish broadcaster TVN, Mr Szymanski cited the passengers’ quick reactions to his instructions as the reason nobody was harmed.

“Passengers reacted in the right way. They got on the floor on command immediately,” he said.


Published by The Straits Times

May 16, 2016, 5:00 am SGT




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