If the definition of a superhero is of a brave individual who continually puts himself or herself in harms way to save the lives of others, then surely a Mr Riyad El-Hassani has earned his cape. For just weeks after the 24 year old waiter rescued 90 year old Sir Robert Malpas from the tracks of Marble Arch London Underground station just as a train was hurtling towards them, he has followed up that daring exploit by coming to the aid of two police officers who were trapped inside their overturned van in Limehouse, East London. Fearing the crashed vehicle was about to burst into flames and without thinking about his own safety, video footage shows Mr El-Hassani climbing onto the side of the van, opening one of the doors before hauling the officers out. Speaking to the Sun, Mr El-Hassani, who works at the Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair, recalled: ‘They looked in shock and one had a badly injured arm. I took one officer’s seat belt off because he could not manage it and I lifted him out before getting the second officer out. I was worried about it catching fire. They were lucky not to be seriously injured.’ So too is Sir Robert Malpas, a leading industrialist and former chairman of Eurotunnel, who was allegedly pushed onto the railway tracks in an unprovoked attack. Luckily for Sir Robert, Mr El-Hassani was nearby: ‘As I approached the Tube line I could hear panicking, screaming and running. I thought it was a terrorist attack. As I ran, I saw an elderly man in the middle of the underground track. It was at least 1.5-metres deep and I could see the train coming very quickly. I barely stopped to think and jumped down on to the track. I threw him on to the station platform like a sack of potatoes. As I turned to the left I could see the train coming near my face. I ran to get out and it stopped another five metres further along…I later found out the man involved was a Knight of the Realm.’ If he keeps on rescuing strangers from dangers, who knows Mr El-Hassani could one day find himself being made a Knight of the Realm.
June 27, 2018