US

Blind Man Falls Onto Train Tracks; Video Shows Good Samaritans Rescuing Him

By Zachary Stieber

Video footage shows good Samaritans rescuing a blind man who fell onto train tracks in Washington.

The man fell onto the tracks at the Medical Center Station in Bethesda, Maryland, outside the nation’s capital, around 8 a.m. on April 9. Surveillance footage shows him walking along the platform with a white cane before falling on the tracks.

Brandan Cawley, 22, who lives in Bethesda, said that he witnessed the fall.

Cawley, who was waiting for the train to get to his job in D.C., ran over and tried to pull the man back up to the platform but found he needed help.

The unidentified blind man approaching the tracks at the Washington metro station on April 9, 2019. (WMATA)

“He was around 6 feet tall and weighed more than 300 pounds,” Cawley told WJLA. “I couldn’t do it alone.”

Two more men rushed over to help Cawley and hammered out what to do as they saw headlights from an incoming train appear in the tunnel.

“I said, ‘We need to get him up now!'” Cawley recalled. “And we did.”

Twenty seconds later, a train came through. It would have hit the man.

“I have thought a little bit about if I wasn’t there, and to be honest, I’m not exactly sure how the outcome would have been,” Cawley concluded. “I’m just glad I was.”

Metro officials told NBC that the man was taken to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.

Metro Officials Pressured to Avoid Buying From China

U.S. senators from Maryland and Virginia have been working on a piece of legislation that would provide the Metro with more funding but only if the agency agrees not to purchase train cars from China.

Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) have been drafting the legislation.

Warner told the Washington Post that the bill’s final language was being tweaked but that it would prohibit deals with firms based in countries such as China that have laws requiring companies to cooperate with state intelligence agencies.

The China Railway Rolling Stock Corp. has won four major rail contracts in the United States in recent years by undercutting all other bidders.

The move comes as Metro tries to find a manufacturer for its next generation of rail cars. Potential bidders for the Washington contract include South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem and France-based Alstom.

Controlled by a communist government, China often steals technology and other trade secrets through trade agreements between private companies. There are also concerns for the Washington contract that the country might try to plant listening devices or malicious software in rail cars if it wins the contract.

“We need to make sure the nation’s capital is more protected than any,” Warner said. “With almost all of these next-generation train cars, [the manufacturer] can send a software update remotely, where you as the owner don’t have any ability to screen that update. The update could add malware.”