Ranking the Subway Heroes

When Carlos Flores bravely leapt onto the 103rd St. tracks Sunday morning to pull a fallen old man to safety, he became at least the fifth official NYC Subway Hero in the past few years. But who's the most heroic?

5) Carlos Flores: jumped onto the 6 train tracks to haul up an old man who'd fallen down there. The old man was 40 pounds heavier than Flores. Mitigating factors: Flores says he was motivated mainly by a desire to get to work on time. Train stopped before it would have run over the guy, anyhow.

4) Chad Lindsey: an actor who jumped onto the busy Penn Station tracks to save a man who'd fallen and knocked himself out; then, got onto a train and left, without waiting around for the cameras. Mitigating factors: Was he really heroic, or just playing the role of a hero?

3) Veeramuthu Kalimuthu: Columbia University mechanic who jumped over three deadly electrified third rails to save a fallen drunk, and haul him up off the tracks. Then jumped back over the live third rails to catch his own train home. Mitigating factors: reportedly saved the man with a "minute to spare" before the train came. Plenty of time.

2) Anonymous: "After a woman fainted onto the tracks Monday evening at the Union Square station, the man jumped onto the track bed to try to revive her, witnesses told the police. Seeing the lights of an Eighth Avenue-bound L train, and probably realizing he was out of time, he hastily positioned her body in the trench between the tracks, then hoisted himself out as the train roared in, the police said." Is still (as far as we know) anonymous. Mitigating factors: Did not actually lay his own body on the tracks to experience the sensation of a train roaring overhead.

1) Wesley Autrey: jumped onto the tracks to help a fallen man and, having no time to pull him up, laid down on top of the man and allowed the train to pass over, leaving them both unharmed. Mitigating factors: Got a shitload of rewards for this. Deservedly.

The truth is they're all winners!

[Photo: AP]