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Subway rider jumps on tracks to help fallen man

PHILADELPHIA – Transit police in Philadelphia are calling a local man a hero for jumping onto subway tracks to help a man who fell off a platform.

Christopher Knafelc, 32, was waiting for a train in north Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon when he saw a man walk off the platform and fall on the tracks. He jumped down to help the man, knowing a train would be arriving in a few minutes.

“I had a plan -- if a train came, I was going to roll him underneath,” Knafelc told WPVI-TV. “Or if I couldn’t, I was going to ask someone to jump down and help me roll him.”

He held the man’s head and neck stable until firefighters arrived. Train traffic was halted.

“I was like 99.9 percent positive that I wouldn’t get electrocuted,” Knafelc told the Philadelphia Daily News. “I can’t see (the tracks) being able to electrocute you, because too many people would get hurt.”

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III called Knafelc a hero.

“This is what Philadelphia is all about,” Nestel said.

Investigators don’t know what caused the man to fall on the tracks. He was taken to a hospital and listed in stable condition.

“He didn’t thank me, but I know he was thankful,” Knafelc told the Daily News. “You know what I mean? In my heart I believe he was.”

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