Fri, 21 Mar 2003

Man killed by train but saves 2 children JP/ /Across

Man killed by train after saving 6 lives

SIDOARJO, East Java: A railway crossing attendant in Simorame village in the town of Sidoarjo was struck and killed by a train on Thursday, after he saved the lives of six kindergartners crossing the railway track in a pedicab.

The 35-year-old Zaenal died instantly. Pedicab driver Dwi Wongso, 35, sustained minor injuries while the six children, averaging five years old, were unharmed.

Witnesses said that Zaenal had lowered one of the two railway crossing gates and was about to lower the second one when he saw the pedicab full of children from the Sabililah kindergarten trying to cross the track.

Hearing the train approaching fast, he ran over to the pedicab and pulled it away from the railway track. The train struck him at that moment. Zaenal is survived by a wife and two children.

Police officer Sulasmadi said Zaenal earned some Rp 300,000 (about US$33) a month from fares he collected from residents.

Following the accident, several residents offered to help Zaenal's family, and listeners of Radio Surabaya were heard expressing their condolences. -- Antara