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HE WAS IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME, NATURALLY

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  • HE WAS IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME, NATURALLY

    HE BECAME A HERO:

    Tue, September 16, 2003 'Amazing' TTC hero

    By JASON BOTCHFORD, TORONTO SUN

    Straddling subway tracks, staring at an oncoming train with a stunned woman in his tight grip, was the longest second of Petiu George Ciorau's life. A moment earlier, in an act of immeasurable heroism yesterday morning, Ciorau leapt on to the tracks in a desperate attempt to rescue Kaur-Hayer Harbajan.

    She had just stumbled off the westbound platform in the Yonge-Bloor station. A new immigrant, it was her first time in a TTC station.

    "It was the longest second you could ever imagine, the longest second of my life," Ciorau, 22, a part-time Loblaws employee, said.

    "She was frozen from shock. When she didn't want to move I didn't know what to do. I thought about lying underneath so the train would go over us but we could have been crushed. My other choice was to go for the wall."

    Ciorau lifted up Harbajan, an elderly, frail woman from India who doesn't speak English.

    Carrying her, he walked over the third rail, which produces 550 volts DC, without knowing that touching it would have likely killed them.

    He pushed her against the outer wall, pinning her there with all his might, watching breathlessly as the train came to a screeching halt just a metre and half from his face. They were safe.

    "I wasn't sure if the subway was going to hit me," Ciorau said.

    He said an onlooker told him that if the train didn't stop he would have been killed.

    "Maybe the guy was right, maybe I would have been hit and I would have died. The reality is I don't know and it doesn't matter. I would do it all again," he said. "I was just trying to save a life."

    The train's driver was so traumatized by the near miss he had to go home, TTC officials said.

    Ciorau was tired from his overnight shift and was walking on the centre platform, his head down, when he spotted Harbajan's foot slip off the yellow-marked ledge.

    No one on the platform moved. Except Ciorau.

    "I don't even remember my backpack coming off," said Ciorau, who has lived in Toronto for 13 years after moving from Romania.

    "I saw the train coming out of the tunnel. It was just common sense for me. I had to do something. I figured I had enough time and the train was far enough away, but I couldn't calculate how fast the subway was going."

    'HAD TO DO SOMETHING'

    Toronto firefighters who arrived on the scene were floored by Ciorau's heroics.

    "I'm going to recommend (Ciorau) be hired as a firefighter," Toronto firefighter Jim Dillon said. "That's what this guy deserves to be. Hundreds of people there and no one else did a damn thing. The driver may never have seen (Harbajan) if he didn't jump in. This guy deserves the Order of Canada, really, and he should be citizen of the year. What he did was amazing."

    Harbajan was shaken but didn't want to go the hospital.

    "I'm just so glad she's okay," Ciorau said.
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 09-16-2003, 10:54 AM.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  • #2
    Wow, a hero for sure, nice job!
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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