LONDON – A Muslim hero who risked his life to save a 91-year-old man who had been pushed onto the London train tracks in a random attack has described the moment as been “just instinct”.
Riyad El Hassani, 24, had been returning home from work when he noticed an elderly man sprawled on the tracks of the Central Line.
“As soon as I noticed the man on the tracks I knew I had to act fast as I could hear the train coming,” he told The Daily Mail.
“I did not decide to jump onto the tracks. It was just instinct. There was no time to think about it.”
The elderly man, Sir Robert Malpas had been pushed by paranoid schizophrenic Paul Crossley, who tried to push another man earlier.
Sir Robert suffered a fractured pelvis and a gash to the head in the attack – eventually requiring 12 stitches.
“His face was covered in blood and it was also coming out of his mouth,” El Hassani recalled.
“It took around thirty seconds before I was able to stand him up.
“By this point, there were plenty of people on the platform offering help and we quickly managed to get him off the tracks.”
El Hassani, who moved to London from France three years ago, has since been exchanging messages with Sir Robert following the incident on April 27.
“We have sent each other a number of emails now and Sir Robert has thanked me for my actions,” he said.
“He’s also asked if we could meet up. So we need to arrange a date for that.”