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Japan commuters push 32-ton train to free woman trapped in platform gap

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Minami-Urawa station Flickr
Minami-Urawa station Flickr

"As you leave the train, please mind the gap between the train and the platform." That message, or some variation of it, should be well familiar to anyone who travels via rail on a frequent basis. But sometimes the unthinkable happens, as was the case during Japan's busy Monday morning commute. A woman fell into the gap at Minami-Urawa station outside Tokyo and became trapped at her waist. Station officials quickly ordered the train's driver not to move, but they still faced a pressing challenge: freeing the woman from her tight predicament between the platform edge and a 32-ton train carriage. Not wasting any time, they put out a call for help over the station's public address system. Dozens of commuters — around 40 by reports — quickly volunteered to assist in pushing the train to one side so the woman could be freed. The powerful image of that herculean effort can be found at the source below, and the involved train managed to get depart after only an eight-minute delay.