A man has been released from hospital after miraculously surviving being run over by a rush-hour train. The 55-year-old, from Accrington, fell onto the track at Church and Oswaldtwistle train station. Police said he had been involved in an altercation with two teenagers.
An eyewitness said the ‘disorientated’ man had been lying down on his back for around three minutes before a Blackpool-bound train came towards him.
Nurse Margaret Walton, 54, said: "All my worst nightmares came at once when I saw the train. I was convinced it would kill him. He was about four foot down from the platform facing upwards on his back."
She added: "The train was going quite fast but I think the driver saw people were trying to signal to him. He started pulling up as quickly as he could but couldn’t stop in time.
"I turned away thinking that was it. I didn’t want to see that. But I don’t think the man realised the train was over him, he was confused."
The local man survived the ‘freak incident’ at around 5.15pm on Monday, March 7 after the wheels of the train missed him.
He suffered head injuries, a bruised hip and foot and needed stitches after being rescued by paramedics and admitted to Royal Blackburn Hospital.
He was released from hospital the following day.
A handful of horrified commuters had witnessed the incident during rush hour. Some climbed onto the tracks to help paramedics.
Kieran Murphy, 21, signalled to the driver to try to stop the train.
He said: "I was looking towards the platform when I saw a man lying on the tracks and my heart was beating. I had this panicky, overwhelming feeling.
"I was looking down at the ground and there was a train due to come in about 10 seconds.
"We were waving frantically, pointing and screaming.
"I remember turning my head and I covered my eyes and held my ears for a good few seconds as I felt the train go right past me."
He added: "It was like a miracle – it passed over him like he was a ghost. We all thought he was going to be just flesh and bones on the track."
Train services were delayed for three hours by the incident.
Glyn Hellam, of British Transport Police, said: "But for good fortune this could have ended in a fatality.
"The driver apparently very quickly applied the brakes when he saw something on the tracks, which meant the man was struck at a much lesser speed.
"We don’t know how he got his head injures. Whether he got them after falling on the track or by being struck by the train we don’t know. An investigation is ongoing."
Police said the train involved was the 3.09pm Northern Rail York to Blackpool North service.
Miss Walton, who lives on St Annes Close, said: "I saw the man on the track, who was bleeding from the head. Then the train started coming in.
"After it passed I remember asking someone if he was still alive. Thankfully I was then able to go back to help him after a man helped me on to the tracks.
"I tried to keep him still and just kept telling him help was on its way. I don’t think he could comprehend the fact he had been so lucky. I have never seen anything like it."
Detectives are investigating the incident to determine how the man ended up on the tracks.
A British Transport Police spokesman said: "BTP can confirm that a 55-year-old Accrington man has been taken to hospital following an incident at Church and Oswaldtwistle railway station.
"We received reports of an altercation between three men on the platform at the station."
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40.
A 17-year-old man was arrested at the scene and has since been bailed until April 6 pending further enquiries.