A 58-year-old man lay seriously ill from a heart attack in an elevator at one of Vienna's busiest subway stations, with passengers and Wiener Linien staff ignoring him for up to five hours on Boxing Day.
Police say that surveillance video recordings showed that several people stepped over the 58-year-old man as he lay dying.
The man collapsed during the night of December 26th in the elevator at the Volkstheater station on the U3 metro line in Austria's capital. According to police, he remained in the cabin from 2 a.m. until 7 a.m., when a cleaner found him and raised the alarm.
Emergency services immediately arrived and attempted resuscitation, but the man unfortunately died on the way to hospital. It is suspected that he had suffered from a heart attack.
The metro authorities are amazed that none of the several people who stepped over the man when they used the elevator attempted to contact authorities or press the emergency button. Furthermore, two Wiener Linien staff who were obliged to conduct regular inspection tours through the station, failed to do so, and now face serious disciplinary actions, including outright dismissal.
Police are now considering a complaint for 'failure to assist', and are reviewing the video surveillance footage to identify people who might have been able to help the man sooner.
Wiener Linien is using the event to improve its internal control processes, and to impress upon staff and the public the importance to help people who may have a serious illness or other emergency.