Man rescued after being pinned under train in Calif.

Numerous inflatable air bags were needed to raise the locomotive a few inches so the man could be freed

By Harry Harris
The Oakland Tribune via The Contra Costa Times

OAKLAND, Calif. — Firefighters using air bags and the Jaws of Life needed 45 minutes this morning to extricate a man who was dragged under a freight train locomotive more than 20 feet in Jack London Square, authorities said.

The man, who may have been handicapped, was expected to survive his injuries, which included major damage to his legs. A wheelchair believed to be his was found nearby.

Authorities were not certain of his name, age or where he lived.

Authorities said they were trying to determine if what happened was an accident or a possible suicide attempt.

Authorities were called at 3:46 a.m. reporting a man pinned under a train at Broadway and Embarcadero West, which is near the Amtrak California Oakland Jack London station.

The man apparently was on the tracks when he was hit by a freight train traveling at slow speed, got caught up in a piece of undercarriage and was dragged more than 20 feet before the engineer could stop the train, authorities said.

Batallion Fire Chief Robert Lipp said numerous inflatable air bags were needed to raise the locomotive a few inches so the man could be freed. The Jaws of Life were used in the extrication.

Lipp said the man was talking to firefighters during the rescue. He was taken to a hospital, where his condition was not immediately known.

Train service in the area was back to normal by 6 a.m.

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