Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Subway Rescue!

Posted on

Veeramuthu Kalimuthu heard screams as he waited for his subway ride home from Columbia University March 14, then spotted a man lying face down across the tracks. That is when the school mechanic turned into a superhero. “I put down my bag and jumped,” he recalls. “I didn’t think about anything. I didn’t even think about my family. I just wanted to get him to safety.”

Hopping over the tracks to avoid the high-voltage third rails, he reached an “unconscious, lifeless” man. “I put him on my shoulder like a fireman,” says Kalimuthu, 46. Two bystanders helped pull the man onto the platform five feet above. “I kept screaming, ‘Guys, you have to get him up.'” Notes Ed DiJoseph, a Columbia official who witnessed his actions: “Everyone was nervous. You don’t know when a train might come.”

Mission accomplished, Kalimuthu scooted back across the tracks. Trains roared into the station a minute later, and he boarded one for home in Queens, N.Y. Later, over dinner of leftover red snapper in curry sauce, he told his wife, Samita, “Guess what? I saved a guy today.” She said, “Yeah, right!” (The victim, treated at a local hospital for fractured vertebrae, rib and coccyx, identified himself as Daniel Crilley, a 46-year-old recovering alcoholic on his way to a detox session. “I felt bad that I couldn’t say thank you,” he tells PEOPLE. “The man risked his life.”) And while his bosses at Columbia plan to honor him with a plaque for his bravery, Kalimuthu, a Guyanese immigrant, says, “I’m just happy I got the job done.” Even with a sore shoulder after the rescue. “I put some Ben-Gay on it, so it’s okay,” he says with a laugh. “It felt nice to save this guy.”