A MAN had an amazing escape after being run over by a train in front of horrified commuters.

Police said the 55-year-old fell onto the lines as he fought with two teenagers on the platform.

But, in an escape described as miraculous, he ended up between the lines and managed to avoid the wheels.

When he fell, bystanders, including an off-duty nurse, tried to get the man off the tracks.

But to their sheer terror a train then approached Church and Oswaldtwistle Station.

They waved at the driver, but the Northern Rail train could not stop in time and passed over the man.

Eye witness Margaret Walton said: “I thought 'Oh my God’.

"It was like all my worst nightmares at once. I thought he was going to die.

“One of the lads went to look down. I asked him if he was still alive and if he was still in one piece and he said ‘yes’.”

Miraculously the man, who is from Accrington, had only sustained head injuries that required stitches and a bruised hip and foot.

He was due to be discharged from the Royal Blackburn Hospital last night.

Police believe he had managed to position his body on the sleepers between the two railway lines, and avoid impact.

Glyn Hellam, of British Transport Police, said: “It is remarkable that the man didn’t receive more serious injuries.

“It appears that a combination of good fortune and the prompt actions of the train driver prevented a serious incident from becoming a fatal one.”

Miss Walton lives in a house which backs onto the railway station and went to see what was going on after hearing shouting at 5pm on Monday.

The 54-year-old psychiatric nurse, who works for Nelson Crisis Team, said: “I could tell they were distressed and heard one lad shout 'ring 999'.

“I heard one say 'somebody is on the track'.

“But the other said 'but he came at me, what was I supposed to do? I pushed him and he fell on the track'.”

The nurse said she went up to the station and found three 14-18 year-old boys.

She said: “Two of them were crying. The oldest one was on the phone to emergency services telling them what had happened.

“We were trying to get the man to get up but he was disorientated and confused.

“He was bleeding a lot from the back of his head, then the train came.”

After the train passed over the man, Miss Walton described what she did next: “I got on the track and got down to the bloke to try and keep him still because he was trying to get up.

“I knew to keep him still because I am a nurse.

“I told him 'somebody up there is looking after you because you are still alive and in one piece'. Then the paramedics came."

Mr Hellam, of British Transport Police (BTP), said it was not clear whether the man had fallen because he had been pushed, punched or lost his balance.

A 17-year-old boy was quizzed by police on suspicion of assault following the incident but was released on bail.

He said: “Three men were involved in an altercation at Church and Oswaldtwistle station.

“As a result of that, one of the men ended up on the tracks and was struck by a train.

“Detectives are reviewing CCTV footage of the incident.

“The driver saw an object on the tracks.

"He put his brakes on to slow down as he approached the station.”

Mr Hellam said the man suffered head injuries and needed stitches.

He was also left with minor injuries to the hip and foot.

Police initially said he had suffered serious injuries, but he was due to be discharged last night.

The train involved was the 3.09pm York to Blackpool North Service.

The incident disrupted trains in East Lancashire for more than an hour, with services through Church and Oswaldtwistle stopped for three hours.

Rail passenger Anne Smith was travelling from Blackburn to Hebden Bridge.

Her train was stopped at Blackburn at 5.05pm and passengers awaited news for an hour and 40 minutes.

She said: "The guard told us straight away that someone had been injured on the line and that he had very serious head injuries.

"People were quite shocked and dismayed. There were also a lot of people very concerned about their journey.”

Staff at the Dawn Bibby card shop opposite the station said the incident reminded them of a death of a man on the track last year.

One shop worker said: “He is lucky to be alive.”