PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Two people were hit by a light rail train in the last two weeks in Phoenix.

Both were pinned underneath and needed help from firefighters to lift the train off them.

The victim from Wednesday's crash was pulled out alive but in extremely critical condition. He was taken to a trauma hospital, where's he's being treated.

[READ MORE: Man seriously injured after being struck by light rail in Phoenix]

But he might not have made it had it not been for Phoenix Fire's special training.

In an accident like this, the department sends one of its heavy rescue trucks to the scene.

On Wednesday it was Squad 44.

Their special airbag system runs off an air tank. And with the push of a button, can quickly lift a 50-ton object off a victim.

“They’re real simple to use. They're fast to put into operation. They're definitely lifesaving for sure,” said Capt. Greg Hawk, with Phoenix Fire Heavy Rescue 44.

At Wednesday's scene, fire crews were able to inflate the bags and free the victim in just seven minutes.

“It went absolutely fantastic. It went really smooth. It went really quick. Everyone was on the same page,” said Hawk.

It’s a situation his crew now trains for weekly.

“I remember when the light rail system initially went in service. They told us there's no way that anybody could ever get sucked underneath the train. From that day on, we're like, 'How are we going to get somebody out from under the train?'"

Crews can use those same airbags to lift cars during auto accidents too.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



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(1) comment

Jim B

Why are stupid people on the tracks in the first place. They deserve to get hit.....I ride the light rail everyday M-F and I see people constantly running across the tracks...

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