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October 03, 2018

Woman survives jump onto Market-Frankford Line tracks at 30th Street Station

It was a nightmarish afternoon for SEPTA workers and riders alike

Accidents SEPTA
Stock_Carroll - SEPTA Market Frankford Train Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A Market-Frankford Line train at 46th Street Station.

A woman jumped onto the tracks at the 30th Street Station stop on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line on Wednesday but an alert driver apparently slammed on the brakes and stopped the train before it could hit her.

According to Carla Showell-Lee, SEPTA's director of media relations, the system was de-energized and police removed the woman from the track area. As of 5:23 p.m., she said service had resumed, although trains could be delayed up to 30 minutes.

The Philadelphia Police Department did not immediately return a phone call for more information.

A few Twitter users seem to have witnessed the incident, and credited the quick actions of a SEPTA employee with saving the day:

The incident apparently impacted service along other parts of the track.

Philadelphia resident Desuana Dubose, who was riding a westbound Market-Frankford Line car on Wednesday around the time of the accident, told PhillyVoice that she boarded the subway at 40th Street Station and wasn’t able to get off her car until it reached 69th Street Station.

Other riders experienced similar inconveniences:

SEPTA’s Twitter account and its Market-Frankford Line account had sent out messages alerting riders to potential half-hour delays because of a “medical emergency” and suggested taking shuttle buses in the meantime.

For future reference, according to Showell-Lee, this is SEPTA's official advice for bystanders who might see someone fall or jump onto the tracks:

"If someone sees someone in distress, they should motion for emergency personnel to help immediately so they can make any effort to stop the train. If they clearly witness someone jumping into the track area, they should not go in after them. We encourage our riders to download the SEPTA transit Watch App so they can safely report an emergency. SEPTA transit police is immediately dispatched. SEPTA has installed Emergency Call Boxes (ECB) in our subway stations. Use of an ECB will place you in immediate contact with the Police Command Center. In an emergency, assistance can be dispatched to your station within moments."

All in all, it was a rough afternoon to be riding the El, but it could've been much worse.

This is a developing story. Check back for more information as it becomes available.

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