Train driver sacrifices his leg to save elderly woman on the tracks

A train driver in southwest China is being hailed as a hero after saving an elderly woman's life from an oncoming train at the expense of his right leg.

Xu Qiankai, 29, was moving a train to a service depot at Roncgchang station in Chongqing last Thurday when he looked up and spotted an elderly woman on the tracks ahead, despite the area being marked with "no trespassing" signs.

According to Chongqing evening news, the locomotive engineer immediately pulled on the brakes and shouted at her to get off the tracks, sounding the horn for good measure, but reports said she froze on the spot instead and did not move away from impending danger. It was later reported that the 68-year-old elderly was hard of hearing.

Realising that she would be killed if he did not do anything, Xu jumped off the train without hesitation and sprinted to her aid, physically dragging her off the tracks. The heroic driver was quick enough to pull the woman to safety, but was unfortunately unable to save his own leg, which was unfortunately crushed by the train.

Photo: Chongqing Evening News

Xu was immediately rushed to a hospital where doctors were forced to amputate his right leg from below the knee. However, the train driver has no regrets regarding his actions. Speaking to Chongqing news in an interview, Xu stated that he would have made the same sacrifice had he been given a chance to repeat the scenario.

"Even though I lost my leg, I saved a life," he said. "If I had to do it again, I would do the same thing."

Photo: Chongqing Evening News

The rescued woman visited Xu later in his hospital room and reportedly kneeled down in front of his bed to display her gratitude towards him for saving her life.

Photo: Chongqing Evening News

nicchew@sph.com.sg

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