Woman feared she couldn’t afford ambulance after her leg was trapped by a subway train

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A woman getting off Boston’s Orange Line last week fell and was trapped between the subway platform and the train until her fellow passengers were able to free her.

Transit police say the woman stepped into a 5-inch gap as she was getting off the train at the Massachusetts Avenue station on Friday afternoon during rush hour.

Marleny Polanco was on her way home from work when she heard the commotion.

“I didn’t actually see her fall. I actually jumped out of the car when I heard some screams,” she said. “I was able to see what was happening. She was clearly stuck between the train and the platform.”

Security video from the platform shows a crowd of commuters start to push on the train and rock it enough to pull the woman to safety.

After the woman was freed, Polanco stayed to help and talked with her.

She had a bad cut on her left thigh; police said it was deep enough to expose the bone.

Polanco said the woman was clearly in a lot of pain, but she didn’t want anyone to call an ambulance because she said she couldn’t afford it.

“She made it a point to say ‘you don’t understand, I have terrible insurance,'” Polanco said. “Everyone just kept saying don’t worry about that, you need medical help.”

Emergency Medical Technicians arrived in 5 or 10 minutes Polanco said, and the woman did agree to go with them.

The EMTs bandaged her leg and then took her away in a wheelchair.

“She couldn’t walk, she couldn’t stand, she couldn’t do anything on the leg,” Polanco said.

An incident report said the EMTs did not see any broken bones, but said she would need surgery.

The woman has not been identified. She was taken to Boston Medical Center for treatment.

Health care costs vary widely and with the details of the woman’s condition unavailable, it’s difficult to say how much transporting her and treating her injury would cost. A 2012 federal investigation found the median ambulance cost per ride was between $224 and $2,204.

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