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Trapped woman didn’t want an ambulance. She was worried about the cost, witnesses say

Surveillance video shows passengers rush to help a woman whose leg got caught between a train and a platform.
Surveillance video shows passengers rush to help a woman whose leg got caught between a train and a platform. CBS Boston

A woman cried and screamed when her leg got trapped between a train and a platform, the Boston Globe reported. But her pain didn’t keep her from pleading with frantic passengers around her to not call an ambulance, which she said would cost her thousands, according to witnesses.

The woman, 45, was leaving the train Friday evening when she slipped, causing her leg to get stuck in the gap, WHDH reported. Passengers’ attempts to leave the train around her caused the woman to get even more stuck, she told police, according to the news station. A transit police report said the gap was about 5 inches.

Maria Cramer, a Globe reporter, describing the incident in a tweet, said the woman’s leg was “twisted and bloody” and skin had come off, but what seemed more shocking was the woman begging bystanders not to call an ambulance.

“It’s $3,000,” she reportedly said. “I can’t afford that.”

A witness told the newspaper she convinced the woman to let someone call 911.

The tweet became the subject of a New York Times editorial on Monday titled “This Tweet Captures the State of Health Care in America Today.” The op-ed says the accident “is one you might expect to see in an impoverished country.”

Commenters on Cramer’s social media post registered their disgust at health care costs in the country. “Ridiculous. Inexcusable. This is the state of American healthcare even in a city with some of the best hospitals in the world,” one user wrote.

A police report says several passengers jumped into action and rocked the train back and forth until the woman was free. She didn’t appear to have any broken bones, but she suffered a cut on her left thigh that was so serious it exposed bone, the report said.

Boston EMS Chief Jim Hooley told the Globe an ambulance in the city could cost between $1,200 and $1,900.

CTV footage captures the moment when a stranger pushes a 59-year-old woman into a train track at Yuen Long Station in Hong Kong. According to reports, the woman was taken to the hospital and suffered injuries to her jaw and the was arrested.

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