Policeman dies saving man on railway line

A POLICEMAN died in Lisbon last Sunday while saving the life of a 23-year-old man who fell on the Cascais-Lisbon railway line.

The man, allegedly drunk following an evening out at a nearby nightclub, tripped and fell on the line after jumping over an access barrier, under the viaduct that links Avenida Infante Santo to Docas, in Lisbon. The policeman, who worked in the security and facilities division, was hit, after rescuing the man, by an oncoming train and died in hospital a few hours later as a result of serious internal injuries.

Another policeman, who works at the Belém squadron, also jumped onto the line in an attempt to save the man and he, too, was unable to avoid the train. He is in a serious condition in hospital but out of danger. The two policemen did, however, manage to save the clubber, lifting him to safety. He suffered only minor cuts and bruises.

Rui Lemos, the policeman who lost his life, had left work and was on his way home. It was around 6.30am and he was intending to catch an electric tram. At the station, he met fellow policeman, 24-year-old Bruno Oliveira, who was on his way to work.

Police sources believe that the man may have jumped the barrier in order to avoid climbing the stairs of the flyover that crosses Avenida 24 de Julho. Seconds after falling, a train appeared travelling towards Cais do Sodré from Cascais, and it was at this point that the policemen took action, realising that the man’s life was in danger. Although they were able to move him to a safe spot, they were not able to avoid the train themselves.  

According to witnesses at the scene, the sheer air vacuum caused by the oncoming train threw the agents to the ground. Lisbon police have opened an inquiry into the incident.