Tragedy unites people in a way that no other event can and a stark reminder of this fact was the way victims of the Bronx train derailment came to the aid of those who were left in worse shape.
It showed that the human spirit has the ability to triumph over the worst of situations and helped restore our faith in humanity, despite the fact that we hear about murder, fraud and other crimes on a daily basis.
FDNY Capt. James Ellson, who was rescuing people from the wreck, shared how his team was overwhelmed and had to ask passengers with minor injuries to assist the operation.
Overcoming the trauma, they did just that.
“It’s very hard to ask a civilian who was just involved in an accident to help us,” Ellson admiringly admitted. “They had just been involved in a very bad train accident, and now I’m saying, ‘I need your help, I need you to help people who are in worse shape.’ I asked everybody, ‘Listen, look at the people next to you, and if they need help, help them.’ And they did it.”
They helped fellow passengers regain their bearings and even tended to their wounds, while firefighters treated the more serious victims.
“You’d think people would want to just get out and run as far as they could, but people were very good,” he said.
Steven Ciccone, a passenger in the third car, also recalled the passengers helping others, “Those who weren't injured began moving to help people, particularly the elderly.”
Here are some photos from the harrowing wreck:
Image Source: Reuters