A young man trapped under a bus in Berlin survived with minor injuries after 40 people joined forces to lift the vehicle off him in what police described as a heroic rescue effort.
The 18-year-old got pinned by a tire of the rear axle when he fell down while running to catch the bus as it pulled away from a stop on Monday afternoon, authorities said.
The bus driver immediately stopped and with the help of about 40 people, including passengers and passersby, managed to lift the right side of the bus high enough to extricate the man, according to police.
“There was chaos,” Frank Kurze, one of the volunteer rescuers told German news channel n-tv. “I saw the men trying to lift the bus, and it was clear to me that I also had to help lift the bus and try pull the young man from underneath.”
Surgeons and nurses from a medical center close to the bus stop in the Spandau neighborhood of Berlin went to the scene to provide first aid.
“We were at work when we heard screams, and our boss looked out of the window and saw what had happened, and said ‘Take the doctor’s case and run,'” Michelle Rueckborn, one of the responding nurses, said.
The man suffered scrapes, bruises and an arm injury, police said.
“He was responsive but very perplexed and didn’t know what was happening,” Sandra Grunwald, another nurse, said.
The injured man was taken to a hospital, where he underwent surgery. N-tv reported he had been released, but Berlin police said they did not have any further information on his condition.
Berlin police were investigating how he ended up under the bus. They said they were impressed by the collective rescue action and praised the people who pitched in as “heroes.”
“Thank you, Spandau, thank you, Berlin,” the police department wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Grunwald, one of the nurses, told n-tv that the shared concern of so many people gave her a good feeling.
“I think it’s nice that one can still more or less have trust in society,” she said.