A Spanish policeman was Tuesday hailed a hero after a dramatic security video captured him rescuing a woman who fell onto the tracks of the Madrid subway system moments before a train arrived.
The 38-year-old officer, who was identified only by his first name, Ruben, leapt to the woman's rescue early Monday afternoon at the Marques Vadillo station in southwestern Madrid.
A security video released by police showed the 52-year-old woman holding a shopping bag and standing behind the yellow line along the tracks, her handbag on the ground in front of her.
Suddenly, she collapsed forwards, still holding the shopping bag, and tumbled down onto the rails.
Half a dozen fellow passengers crowded around the platform above her but none dared to descend.
Then the off-duty policeman on the same platform leapt down to the tracks, ran towards her and picked her up just as a train was coming into the station.
The train stopped in time as the officer carried her to the platform on the other side. Passengers helped in hauling her up to safety.
"I was looking at some notes -- I am doing a course for promotion to deputy inspector -- when I heard a thump and a woman cry out. Then I looked at the rails and saw a woman who was not moving and the metro arriving," the officer said, according to leading Spanish daily El Pais.
"When I picked her up she was a dead weight, she was unconscious and then when she recovered she was completely groggy, she told me she was feeling very hot and then she didn't remember any more," he said.
The woman was treated by emergency medical staff, a police statement said. She was reported to be recovering later in hospital with a severe headache.
"Many thanks Mr. Policeman for showing there are good and generous people who risk their lives to save another," said a reader on the site of conservative daily El Mundo.
"This story is a great comfort in these tough and sad times we are living."
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