Doctors amputate leg to free man hit by train in Philadelphia

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 29, 2015 3:20 PM

By David DeKok

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - Doctors in Pennsylvania amputated the leg of a man pinned under a freight train early on Wednesday in an attempt to save his life, railroad officials said.

The 46-year-old man, who has not been identified, was walking along the CSX Corporation railroad line in Northeast Philadelphia at about 2 a.m. when the engineer spotted him and began to brake, railroad spokesman Rob Doolittle said.

The train did not stop in time, and trapped the victim underneath, Doolittle said.

Two physicians worked at the scene to try to save the man by amputating his leg, said Dr. Steven Parrillo, director of EMS and disaster medicine at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

The amputation, which took about two hours, required the work of scalpels and a bone saw, Parrillo said. The man was conscious throughout the procedure but had been given a powerful anesthetic.

After the leg was removed, the man was taken to the nearest trauma center at Aria Health Torresdale Hospital. His medical condition was not immediately clear.

Doolittle said the train continued on its way about 6 a.m.

(Editing by Laila Kearney and Lisa Lambert)