City Desk

Man On Metro Tracks Needs Help! Crowds of Bystanders Look On

A passenger on the blue line vents to the blog Unsuck DC Metro about the lack of good samaritanism among his fellow Metro riders, citing a recent experience with a man dangerously stranded on the tracks one morning at the Foggy Bottom station.

The rider says a solitary woman was trying to hoist the guy up from almost certain doom. The rider pitched in and together, they were able to get the man out of harm's way. Crisis averted, the rider wondered why the accident victim hadn't gotten more assistance:

"What amazed me was the number of perfectly healthy men and women who walked right by. It was 9:30 a.m., and the platform was full of people. Most just looked at this poor man struggling to get back up on the platform and kept on walking.

I have no idea who the woman was that was helping him, but she did not know the man any more than I did. Yet she immediately got down and tried to help him knowing full well that this man was at least twice her size. She stepped up when no one else would. She is the hero here.

Kudos to the people on phones trying to get help, but what was needed was someone to help grab the man's other arm and pull.

We all complain about Metro not doing a poor job (and believe me, it is justified most of the time) but here is an example of where we the riders needs to think about how we react to a situation.

The station manager reacted immediately when he was informed but with the crowds of people in the station there was no way he could get there in time to help.

I hope that maybe some of the people that walked by read this and stop for a minute to think about their reaction or lack thereof."

Contacted by City Desk, Metro says it is checking into the incident.

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  • Kim Chi Ha

    GEezus. remind me not to fall in.

  • Melody

    Classic bystander affect. Way to solve it- point at someone and say "you, come help"

  • LOL

    wait. man or woman. the blogger should have helped too.

  • LOL

    went to the other blog. Apparently the poster did help. I need to read more carefully.

  • Manor

    This is DC. When I was hit by a car years ago the first thing that happened was people tried to steal my wallet and money. That's the 'northern charm' part of the city... The bungled ambulance response was the 'southern efficiency'.

  • Kit-Kat

    I once fainted in a Metro station during rush hour. When I came to, I watched dozens of people walk past me, lying on the floor, without speaking to me. One woman saw me and ran to get the station manager, and another stopped to ask if I needed medical assistance. Two people out of the hundreds passing through the station. It was really discouraging. At least I fell on top of my bag, so I didn't get robbed, too.

  • Scosche

    Jeez. As much as I instantly say "this is redic, I'd help in a heartbeat!" I wonder if I'd act the same way as 99% of the people there did.

  • Rick Mangus

    Why didn't this blogger HELP!

  • Manor

    Rick, para 2 says he did.

  • Charlie

    My psychology courses 40 years ago attributed this to diminished responsibility. The fact that there were dozens of people available to help means that each person has less responsibility for helping. Had it been a largely deserted platform help might have been more available.

  • Keith B

    Rick, why didn't you READ!

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