Nick Knowles presents close calls caught on film. Two students on their way home from college witness a train explosion.
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A close call, a moment of danger when life can hang in the balance.
I could die here, this is really serious.
A split second where the outcome could go either way.
Right, call 999 now.
The difference between disaster and survival.
You could see it on the faces of the crew how life-threatening this was.
Why would you need to swim?
Apparently, they're supposed to still be on a boat.
These are the people that have been there and lived to tell the tale.
I thought she had died.
It's a day they'll never forget.
The day they had a close call.
Today on Close Calls,
a dad with a pushchair,
two women chatting
and a car that's out of control.
It was a very big noise,
like I could understand straightaway accident, crash, boom.
..a snowboarder suffers a horrendous injury after a high-speed collision
with a friend on the slopes.
Neither were moving,
he was in a heap on the floor a bit further down the mountain,
he was screaming, "My knee, my knee!"
Plus, two students heading home by train -
they've just got off when this happens...
A dad is wheeling his baby son along in his pushchair.
I just suddenly saw a car
barrelling towards me and towards Theo.
The car's coming straight at them.
He has only seconds to react.
It keeps on going,
heading for a pavement cafe
where two women stand chatting.
They're directly in its path.
Chorlton-cum-Hardy, a leafy suburb
four miles south-west of Manchester city centre.
It's bustling with independent shops, cafes and bars,
making it popular with young professionals and families.
Chorlton is home to computer programmer Ludo.
A Mancunian by birth,
he lives in the suburb with wife Anna and their four children.
It's a great honour to be a parent.
I mean, it's a great joy.
It's a lot of hard work,
but there's nothing like having beautiful kids
kind of smiling at you.
Ludo often works from home and is a hands-on dad,
particularly with the youngest child, two-year-old Theo.
Theo, you know, is my only son.
He's an absolutely fantastic little boy.
Really, he means everything to me and Anna.
Ludo enjoys the busy buzz
of Chorlton's tearooms and coffee shops.
He regularly passes by the Tutku Cafe, run by Vasil,
who moved to the UK from Turkey a few years ago.
I love the Chorlton customers,
they are nice, polite,
so I'm very happy I opened a cafe in Chorlton.
The cafe's popularity meant Vasil needed an extra waitress.
Step forward Hatice, who's lived in the area for 16 years
and was looking for work after her youngest child started school.
It's a good cafe.
It's a very nice place to work
because I like the work here.
The regular people is good is why I like it.
I don't know, they like me as well, I think so!
Hatice has been in the job for just a week
when, one autumn Monday morning, Ludo sets off in a bit of a hurry
to drop Theo at a local childcare centre.
They're running later than planned,
but take their usual route along the main road.
There we were, just after 11am,
kind of coming up to 11:30am, going down Barlow Moor Road,
which is one of the main thoroughfares
through Chorlton and into Manchester.
Although it's busy it's a pretty friendly place.
We were just sort of trundling along.
Ludo and Theo are nearing Vasil's cafe,
which is quiet after the morning rush.
It was 11:30am and I had five tables
sitting in the cafe,
and one table was sitting outside,
he was eating breakfast.
Hatice has been out delivering an order to a nearby business.
Just as she's about to go back into the cafe, she spots a friend.
The two women begin to chat.
My friend, she sees me,
when she was talking to me, she says, "Hello," and, "How are you?"
We talk to each other like me and you.
The cafe's outside CCTV cameras show their position,
Hatice's friend, wearing a coat and carrying a bag,
is nearest the camera and the cafe.
Hatice is just out of view,
in front of the row of parked cars.
She notices Ludo, with baby Theo
tucked up in his pushchair, approaching.
That's Ludo in the hat,
with Theo in the buggy facing his dad.
The pram, you know, the man is coming.
I give way, he's past.
Ludo and little Theo are now in front of the estate agents
next door to the cafe.
It's at this point
something attracts Ludo's attention.
I just suddenly saw a car barrelling onto the pavement
towards me and towards Theo,
and at first I just thought that he wanted to park on the pavement.
I knew it was going too fast and I thought it was going to stop.
The two different angles from the CCTV
show the terrifying moments that follow.
The car mounts the pavement
between the shops and the row of parked cars,
heading straight for Ludo and Theo.
Ludo reacts in record time.
I just got out the way straightaway.
I didn't think much about it at the time, I just did it.
It all happened very quickly, really.
The second I moved, the car just barrelled past me.
As the car passes within a breath of the dad and toddler,
it smashes into the large planters outside the estate agent,
heading straight for Hatice and her friend.
The noise is like a bang first,
but I didn't see the car,
I heard the noise.
Then I see the car is coming - I don't know what's happened here.
She has less than a second to react.
I pushed my friend, you know,
I take my friend and then I pushed myself back.
The CCTV shows Hatice grabbing her friend
and then falling to the ground as the car strikes her a glancing blow.
I heard the women behind me exclaiming in distress
as they jumped out the way as well.
I think something hit me, I fell down.
Then after I see the table coming in my leg.
Inside the cafe, Vasil is busy behind the counter.
But the sound of the drama outside stops him in his tracks.
It was a very big noise,
like I could understand straightaway
accident, crash, boom.
As the car comes to a stop,
waitress Hatice struggles back to her feet
and moves towards the cafe.
Her friend and another bystander head over to the car.
They find an elderly man unconscious behind the wheel
and call for an ambulance.
Although there'd been nobody in the street a second before,
suddenly people ran out of the shops.
There were broken plates on the floor.
The fence had been knocked through 90 degrees.
The big purple planters had been destroyed.
There were broken tables and the car, of course,
stuck in the middle of the pavement.
Vasil joins the growing crowd,
shocked to see the scene of devastation.
The table was on the floor, everything's destroyed
and then I couldn't believe it, I had a shock,
I couldn't understand what's happened here.
He finds Hatice amongst the debris.
She told me she fell down. And then I said, "Are you OK?"
She said, "Yeah, I am fine."
OK, he said, "No, you are not OK, because you're like..."
"Your face is... I know you're not OK."
"Your colour is white. You should sit
"and wait until ambulances come."
Thanks to Ludo's extraordinary reactions,
he and Theo are safe on the forecourt
of the neighbouring estate agents,
where staff take them in to look after them.
Fortunately, because it was a parent-facing buggy,
he didn't see the car coming.
I wouldn't want him to have got frightened
or have any sort of ongoing problems.
I thought it would be a good idea just to sit down for 20 minutes
and have a strong cup of tea.
And I was very glad,
when he started playing with the estate agents' computer -
they let him sit at their computer desk
and I realised that he was basically all right.
But at the cafe, Hatice is in shock and, as she waits for the ambulance,
she starts to register the pain in her feet, her knees and her hands.
When they arrive, the ambulance team give her painkillers
and take her to hospital.
They said after four or six hours, and then when I go hospital,
I come home as well and it's very bad,
my husband take me, and my friend with me.
Still I shake, they said,
"You're not all right, see, we told you."
Back at the cafe,
Vasil plays the CCTV recordings of his forecourt
and can't believe what he sees.
I understand it was a very dangerous accident.
Hatice was very lucky and also Ludo was very lucky,
because both of them had a very quick reaction.
Later, it's revealed the elderly male driver
suffered an unavoidable medical episode at the wheel.
Ludo has since been back to meet Vasil at his cafe.
I was very happy to see him here and then I offered him,
"Do you want me to give you that video?" Maybe he can keep it?
And then I said to him, I make a joke, I said to him, "One day,
"when your boy has grown up, you can show to him that video,
" 'Look, your daddy's the hero, he saved you.' "
For Ludo, it makes sobering viewing.
Now I've had a look at sort of a high-res version of it,
it's much closer than I realised at the time
and when the police spoke to me afterwards,
they said the same thing.
Actually, the police officer who spoke to me
said his toes were curling when he watched the footage.
I did do it just in time, but...
But I didn't realise how close it was.
And mum-of-four Hatice is also very thankful
she was able to react so quickly that morning.
If the car had hit us, we will die, definitely.
And Ludo's grateful his quick reactions saved his baby son.
It just shows how important it is to make every day count.
Flames shoot into the air, engulfing a train carriage.
Two young students race to warn commuters.
Get back! Get off the train!
Kitzbuhel in the Austrian Alps.
A snowboarder begins a downhill run, quickly accelerating.
His eyes fixed on the snow ahead, he doesn't see what's coming.
His screams echo around the mountainside.
I knew there was something that was really wrong.
The pain coming from my knee was just off the scale.
The injury is catastrophic.
If help doesn't come quickly, he could lose his leg.
Firefighter Jed lives in Rochdale with his fiancee, Sharon.
He's been in the Fire Service for more than 25 years,
joining up as a lad of just 20.
I've been a fireman in the back of the fire engine,
which is the... As I would say, it's the sharp end,
so every day for me is different,
whether it's fires, rescues, helping people in the community.
There's no groundhog in the Fire Service.
Over the years, Jed's colleagues
have become more than just workmates.
It's definitely an extended family.
But then, when the bells go down, you turn out,
the feeling that you've helped someone is a great feeling.
But the job can be stressful and Jed makes sure he finds time to unwind.
Do you want to do my bike?
I can do yours, if you want.
His relaxation method of choice has always been adrenaline sports.
The best way of de-stressing myself is taking me completely away.
Whether jumping on a bike or snowboard or motocross bike,
it's very involving, so your mind can't wander anywhere else.
Many of his friends share his passions and, twice a year,
Jed and a group of his mates from work go snowboarding.
Close pal Pete has shared many of these fun trips.
Going snowboarding is fantastic.
You save up all year and it's one of your treats for the year
and, as soon as you're there, you can't wait to hit the slopes.
I just like that absolute freedom of it.
You know, getting a bit of adrenaline by going off-piste
makes it all the more fun.
On a winter break in the Austrian Alps,
Jed and Pete are looking forward
to their first morning snowboarding off-piste.
It's a bright, sunny day.
This is Jed's footage, filmed using a head cam,
as they traverse the slopes.
I've always been into taking video of stuff
and you're always hoping to capture
that comical event where something happens.
After lunch, they join the rest of their group,
who've been skiing nearby.
The skiers and boarders decide to tackle some slopes together.
I was really looking forward to this holiday.
The snow is, like, nice and fresh.
I made a point of saying,
"I've had a few injuries in the past few years,
"it's definitely not my turn this year.
"Let's make it a good holiday."
At the top of a wide run, the friends begin their descent,
with Jed still filming.
They agreed to meet up at the head of a more testing off-piste slope.
After a short while, they regroup by the tricky run.
It's steep and covered in several feet of powdery snow.
Jed plans his descent.
His camera captures one of his friends
moving further along a ridge, but he doesn't notice.
His pal is intending to tackle the run from a different angle.
They set off at the same time.
Neither are aware they're on a collision course.
They quickly gather speed,
both totally focused on the tempting fresh snow in front of them.
I could see Jed working his way down, picking up speed.
I could see the powder coming off the back of him.
But Pete doesn't spot the danger either.
Jed and his friend are now hurtling directly towards each other.
By the time they realise, it's way too late.
I just had literally a blinking of an eye
and I had to just lean to the right and we hit.
Jed's camera captures the moment of impact...
..and records his screams.
The two men collide at a combined speed of 50mph.
Jed catapults headfirst into the snow,
but it's his leg that takes the full force.
The pain coming through my knee was absolutely excruciating
and I've experienced a lot of pain in my life.
I've had quite a lot of injuries and whatever else.
The other skier is uninjured,
but Jed's in terrible pain and struggling to breathe.
I was upside down, buried right up to my knees.
He's in agony, but he needs to pull himself out of the snow.
His friends can tell it's serious.
He's screaming, "My knee, my knee!"
And it was a piercing scream, you know.
It's just so unlike him.
It's out of character for him to moan like that.
When they reach him, it's clear his knee is badly dislocated.
He pulls his ski trousers up to reveal the damage.
Look at my knee.
A large bulge on the inside of his knee is clearly visible.
It's an extreme and excruciating dislocation.
Jed's desperate for the pain to stop.
I started thinking, strangely, about Lethal Weapon,
about when he puts his shoulder in,
and I knew it were dislocated, so I actually started saying to them,
"Can you not just pull my leg in?"
We do first aid at work. We deal with casualties a lot.
But to see a knee joint so far out,
and as soon as you touch it, and he's screaming like that,
it was a no-go from the start.
One of the group alerts staff at a nearby ski lift.
They call in a rescue team.
As they wait for help, Jed begins to shiver.
I was shaking a lot, I think through shock,
so they put a jacket, an extra jacket around me.
Obviously, we had nothing to take the pain away,
so they were just trying to sort of take my mind off it, really,
as much as they could.
It's 45 painful minutes before an air ambulance appears.
One of Jed's pals is filming.
It couldn't land because it was a 45-degree slope and so deep,
there was no way it was landing,
so he had to go and land on the piste below.
The medics need to reach Jed quickly,
so the female doctor and an assistant are then dangled on a rope
and flown up the slope towards him.
The first thing she did was to actually try and relocate his knee.
As soon as she touched it, Jed began screaming...
It was echoing around the valley,
and I would scream again and pass out again.
The doctor gives Jed morphine to help alleviate the pain.
She knows it's vital to get his knee back into position.
Jed's own training means he knows
the seriousness of the situation too.
Sometimes your leg gets that badly damaged
because of no blood supply that you lose the bottom of your leg.
I knew that it had to go back in place, sooner rather than later.
The doctor tries once more to pull Jed's knee back into its socket.
The pain came back instantly and then I passed out.
So they decided that they were going to stick me on the stretcher.
They're unable to treat the injury on the slope,
so the decision is taken to rush Jed to hospital for emergency surgery.
He's in and out of consciousness as he is strapped to the stretcher,
but the movement, miraculously, shifts his knee.
My leg just popped back into place by itself.
What a clunk and what a horrible bone-on-bone kind of sound.
It was... Yeah, it was horrible.
It's a huge relief for Jed's friends
as they watch the helicopter take him down the mountain
to the local hospital.
There, doctors put his leg in an open cast
and tell him he'll need more treatment back home.
It's the end of Jed's holiday.
A week later, back home in Rochdale,
a consultant surgeon gives Jed the news he has been dreading.
He said that this is in the top three worst injuries
he's ever seen in 30-odd years of surgery of knees and he said,
"Be prepared that you're not going to be a fireman any more."
It's not something Jed's prepared to even consider,
and he takes on the challenge to stay a firefighter.
I thought, "I'm definitely going to go back to work," you know,
because, you know, that's what puts food on the table, so...
And it's something I love.
So I was going to move hell and earth to do it.
He undergoes major surgery on his knee,
followed by months of intense rehabilitation.
He surprised us all, really, with the recovery.
He's gone from strength to strength.
He's not one that you can keep down for long.
It takes two years until Jed's back on Blue Watch with his mates.
And, despite the long fight back to fitness,
he considers himself very lucky.
If we were a couple of centimetres either way,
our heads would have hit and at 50mph, even with helmets...
..life - over.
So it was very, very close that day.
Ouch! That looked like a very nasty injury.
Now, a tale of two lads commuting home from college
when they get a very nasty shock, almost literally.
A busy commuter train is about to leave the station when this happens.
A horrified passenger who left the train only moments before
films with a mobile phone.
It all just went mental.
There was loads of sparks, loads of noise, loads of smoke.
Everyone's screaming. And it kind of all just went, like, ballistic.
17-year-old students Miles and Callum
have been friends for a couple of years.
They both attend college in Weymouth.
They regularly travel back and forth together
and often hang out when lectures are over for the day.
The autumn term has started,
and Miles and Callum are about to take the train back to Dorchester,
where Miles lives.
It got to about six o'clock and I wanted to go home,
so I went and waited for the train, jumped on it with Callum.
It was the normal train ride -
like, nothing extraordinary, like, I was just chilling.
At Dorchester, they get off the busy commuter train.
Seconds later, Miles realises he's left his bike on board.
And I ran back, and as the doors were shutting,
I managed to get my bike off.
But as Miles catches up with Callum, they're stopped in their tracks.
Say, 20 seconds from me getting off the train
and, like, barely even being clear of the platform,
I was only just down to road level,
and then it all just went, like, absolute mayhem.
First thing I heard was a real loud bang.
Kind of like a gunshot, but more like an impact.
We turn around, we look and we see it's the train,
our carriage that we was in, just sparking.
The sky was lighting up, it looked like a firework display,
but from underneath the train.
And then I heard another loud bang, and I kind of thought, like,
"No-one's going to believe this,"
so I just whipped out my phone, started videoing.
Miles jumps on his bike with his camera on his phone,
rides towards, recording it.
I'm walking behind Miles, trying to catch up to him.
The boys are worried about passengers still on the train.
GET OFF THE TRAIN!
You could just see the train going off, and big explosions.
Miles captures the chaos on his phone.
No-one seems to know what's happening.
Everyone started screaming.
As I kind of get closer, it's sparking and sparking and sparking,
and then the flames come out from under the train.
ELECTRICITY BUZZES AND CRACKLES
I got a bit closer, you could kind of feel the heat of it as well.
And it was getting, like... I kept feeling the heat push against me.
The explosions send flames leaping more than 20 feet into the air.
The boys aren't sure if there are any passengers
in the affected carriages.
And I got within, say, like, 10, 15 metres of the railing,
and it was hurting my eyes to stand there, like,
I couldn't look at it any more.
Wasn't really thinking about my safety, to be honest,
all I wanted to do was make sure everyone else was safe,
kind of get them off that train.
But Callum is worried his friend is getting too close.
And I thought, obviously, if that train goes up, he will get hurt.
So, I had to run and shout, "Miles, get back!"
Miles pulls back,
but many of the passengers still have no idea what's happening.
They just sat there, they didn't move.
Miles is shouting, "Get off the train, get off the train!"
And then, as I've stepped back, it all just went mental.
Everyone's screaming, and it kind of all just went, like, ballistic.
Like, no-one knew what to do.
People were shouting, "Get off, get off!"
Passengers begin to leave from coaches further along the platform.
The boys are stunned by how unruffled some of them seem.
GET OFF THE TRAIN!
Miles and Callum tell a railway official what they've just seen.
I showed him the video of what had happened,
and he kind of was like, "Oh, God," he went on the radio,
and then I think someone called the emergency services.
He then took control of the situation.
And he was kind of just making sure everyone was all right
and, like, there was not much panic any more, so I kind of just...
He shook my hand and then I kind of just went home.
Some hours later, the boys learn the explosions
were the result of electrical arcing underneath the train.
South West Trains said a problem was identified with the equipment
delivering electricity to the third rail, which powers the trains.
Carriages were damaged, but no-one was injured.
Back home, Miles and Callum begin to realise
what a lucky escape everyone had.
Thank God that Miles got his bike in time
and we got off the platform in time.
If we stayed on that train any longer,
we could have been next to our carriage while it went up.
Just saying, it was complete luck that I did get off.
Real close call. Kind of put me off travelling on trains for a while.
I get the bus to college, to Weymouth, from now on, like.
Well, that certainly livened up the journey home!
See you next time on Close Calls.
A dad wheeling his son to playgroup and a waitress chatting outside a cafe must take evasive action as an out-of-control car careers onto the pavement.
An off-duty firefighter has a collision on the ski slopes, and two students on their way home from college witness a train explosion.