PHILADELPHIA — Riders of Philadelphia public transit were reminded on Christmas Day that the holiday celebrates a birth in the humblest of circumstances.
The Christ child was born in a stable, the Nativity story in the Gospel of Luke says.
On Thursday, a woman went into labor in the subway, and people in the train car watched as two transit police officers helped her give birth, police said.
It brought Christmas joy to Sgt. Daniel Caban and Officer Dorrell James.
The policemen with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) boarded the train after receiving a call, CNN affiliate KYW reported.
The baby was already on its way into the world.
“We just went right to work,” Caban said.
Cell phone images published to social media showed the officers holding the baby then later carrying it out of the subway wrapped in swaddling.
Mother and child were taken to a hospital for a medical check.
The officers’ boss tweeted a shout out to them.
“Transit Police SGT and PO deliver baby on Market Frankford El train!!!! WOOHOO!!! Now that’s a Christmas gift!!!” posted SEPTA chief Thomas J. Nestel III.
Caban told KYW he didn’t mind that his wish for an uneventful Christmas was sunk.
“We delivered a baby for her, so it’s like her Christmas present,” Caban said, “but it’s also like a blessing and present for myself.”
James agreed, saying, “Just a good Christmas, you know.”