Lucky train escape.jpg

Lucky train escape

AN ELDERLY woman who was run over by a train on February 15 in Viana do Castelo (northern Portugal) and walked away without a scratch has spoken out about her experience.

Maria Delores Ramos, aged 77, was on her way home and decided to take a short cut across the railway line in Barroselas. The mother of seven slipped and fell over on to the tracks.

She was unable to get up on her own due to chronic arthritis in her legs and was forced to sit and wait for someone to come to her aid.

When she heard a train in the distance, she began waving her arms to attract the attention of the driver. As the train approached she knew it would not stop in time and so laid down in the middle of the track. She said she prayed to God to forgive her sins as the train rode over her.

When the first carriage passed over, without touching her, she knew she was not going to die.

The train stopped while she was still underneath and the conductor jumped out to help her crawl out from under one of the carriages. Local residents began to run over to investigate and an ambulance was called.

Despite having a heart condition, the doctor who examined her said she had not suffered any cardiac problems from the shock of the incident and was amazed that she did not have a scratch on her.

She admitted that although she slept well on the night of her close call, the following few nights were sleepless. She had to be medicated to slow her rapidly beating heart, caused by angina.

She did not appear to be in shock after the incident and even tried to make a joke about it saying “I can brag that I survived being run over by a train”.

She is more cautious now, but she is also fascinated by her survival. She said that she often crouches down when a train rolls past, to see how much space is between the bottom of the carriage and the track.

According to a study, trains in Portugal kill more people than any other European country. In 2004 alone, the study revealed that more than 100 people died from collisions with trains.

The railway system is currently being revamped by Refer and many lines have been made obsolete. New safety measures have been implemented, but fatalities continue to occur.

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