It's extraordinarily rare, but every once in a while, there is a true emergency at work -- and a colleague turns hero. By all accounts, that was the case last week when a Chilean mechanic successfully fended off a knife-wielding assailant who was threatening the life of the bus driver, Ruben Sanhueza. In a dramatic encounter, which was caught on video, the 22-year-old bus mechanic, referred to as "Jorge," took it upon himself to attack and beat down the assailant on July 2 while on a packed bus in the central Chilean city of Concepcion. And thanks to Jorge's intervention, the bus employees and passengers remained safe.
As can be seen on the video above, Jorge barely hesitated before jumping into the confrontation; it was as if he were Indiana Jones and happened to be on the scene when such courage was sorely needed. As a report on the Chilean network, TV Chile, noted: "The rest of the riders just observe."
Speaking to TV Chile, Sanhueza expressed gratitude to his co-worker. "Thank God he helped," he said.
The assailant, who has not been identified in reports, managed to flee the scene after Jorge removed him from the bus. It's also not clear what his motive for threatening the bus driver was. Either way, Jorge and Sanhueza were largely unharmed by the attack; Sanhueza told the television network that he only suffered a small cut on his hand.
Heroism in the workplace happens every day and in every country. Last year, an unemployed New Yorker, Delroy Simmonds, was on his way to a job interview when he saw a stroller, with a baby strapped inside, fall onto subway tracks. The train was only seconds away, and Simmonds jumped on to the tracks, lifted the stroller and baby to safety, and pulled himself up just in time. A few days later, as he was hailed as a hero in New York City, he was hired as a janitor.
South America, however, has been home to other recent and dramatic rescues. In April, video came to light of a Colombian police officer swooping in and yanking a commuter to safety as he attempted to throw himself in front of a moving train. And of course, Chile was the site of perhaps the most dramatic rescue of the young century. Back in 2010, 33 miners in the Chilean city of Copiapo found themselves stuck after their copper-gold mine collapsed on them. The miners were trapped for two months before they were rescued.
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