MANILA - The woman whose arm was severed in a freak accident at an MRT station could have suffered more serious injuries -- or worse, died -- if it were not for a couple of "miracles" that happened that day, a transportation official said Wednesday.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary Cesar Chavez said the first miracle was that 24-year-old Angeline Fernando fell on the rails with her arms, not her body or head, landing first.
"Kung ang hulog niya paganito (head and upper body on the railway), iba ang kuwento ngayon. Buti patagilid ang bagsak niya," he said, noting the short distance between the platform's edge at the MRT Ayala station and the actual rails.
According to Chavez, Fernando was already dizzy coming out of the train and even bumped her head on a pillar at the platform. She tried to reach the escalator but felt dizzy and fell on the railway.
"Pang-apat na poste, naumpog na siya, pagbaba [ng tren]. Ang objective niya, sa escalator pumunta. Bago siya dumating sa escalator, doon na siya nahulog," he said.
Fernando's right arm got caught in a "coupler" which links two train cars. The official noted that Fernando is a strong woman as she was able to get up even though her arm was already severed.
The second miracle, said Chavez, is that one of the passengers who was at the Ayala MRT station is a medical intern who was able to attend to Fernando before she was transferred to the hospital.
On Wednesday, surgeons were able to reattach the arm of the 24-year-old breadwinner, some 12 hours after it was severed. She is now in stable condition, said Chavez.
Chavez urged senior citizens, pregnant women, and people who feel they need assistance to approach their staff or security guards to avoid accidents.