Heroes of Seville #02: The Taxi Driver

The days go by and with them we learn more and more incredible stories of overcoming, sacrifice and authentic heroism that took place during the night of the #SevilleDisaster starring the citizens of the capital of Seville. Today in Noticias Directo TV we resume our chronicles of ‘Héroes de Sevilla’ to talk about another event that we have recently learned about. This is Paco’s story, it is not his real name, since he has asked us to maintain his anonymity. It is about a taxi driver from Seville who did not think twice and risked his life to transport injured people to medical centers during the terrible battle against the alien aggressors.

Paco is a normal person, like you or me, who found himself overcome by an impossible situation but who knew how to overcome it and instead of staying still he stood up to help the people who needed it. Fifty-eight years old, Paco is married and has two daughters, the eldest, twenty-three years old, is about to graduate in Law, while the youngest is seventeen and still doesn’t know what she wants to do for a living. Paco’s wife, who we will call “María” is a housewife and has been married to him for twenty-five years. He has had his taxi license for more than twenty years. They have their family home on the first floor of an apartment block in the central, middle-class neighborhood of Nervión.

The taxi driver Paco

Like most of the citizens of Seville, when the attack on the city by the ship known as 2012 UA began, Paco had just arrived home after finishing his shift. He lived the first moments with amazement and says that he will never forget the words of President Manuel Alonso on television. Following the recommendations, he decided that the family should stay at home, closing the windows, lowering the blinds and praying that everything would end as soon as possible. María confesses to us that every time an explosion was heard and the window panes shook she would shake and let out a sob. Luckily, her daughters were also at home, so at least she didn’t have to suffer to know if they were okay.

Everything changed when they heard an explosion that made the entire house shake and numerous objects fall from the shelves. Apparently a fragment of a fighter plane hit the top of the building. They could hear screams and the neighbors going out to the stairs. Paco did not hesitate and went out to see what was happening. From the stairwell he could see upwards that there was fire. He rushed up with several neighbors and found a Dantesque scene on the top floor. The walls were smashed, there was brick and twisted metal everywhere. The smoke was beginning to suffocate them. They started shouting to see if anyone was there, since they did not know if the neighbors who lived in that apartment were home at the time of impact. It was then that Paco saw some legs under what had been a dining room table. They rushed to remove the remains and discovered a sixteen-year-old girl badly injured with a broken leg and bleeding. They quickly improvised a splint and stopped the bleeding.

Paco took the girl in his arms and went down accompanied by two other neighbors while the rest hurried to bring water to put out the flames that had begun to burn. When they arrived at the portal they found another horrible scene, as Paco tells us. Almost all the cars on his sidewalk were destroyed by the debris of the building that had fallen on them. The only one that was in good condition was Paco’s taxi, who did not hesitate for a moment to put her inside and take her to the hospital along with another neighbor. Here María interrupts to say that at that moment she had an argument with Paco asking him not to leave her, but as Paco responds there was no other option, the girl needed urgent attention. We cannot forget that while all this was happening the battle raged in the sky of Seville.

Putting her life at serious risk, Paco managed to overcome all obstacles to take the girl to the Virgen del Rocío university hospital. In his story he tells us that he used secondary streets, avoiding large avenues, because his eldest daughter had shown him several videos that were circulating on the social network Twitter of the strange alien ships, which were baptized as “Spiders”, controlling key points of the city. When he finally arrived at the hospital he took the girl into the emergency room with her neighbor, who took care of her. The room was packed and people were being operated on and treated even in the hallways. The activity was frenetic.

Numerous taxi drivers from Seville joined the initiative

And this is where things get more interesting. Well, while Paco was at the entrance, he could hear several doctors and nurses complaining that they were missing ambulances. Then he got an idea. He returned to his taxi and began to contact all the colleagues he could by radio to ask for his help. What started as an improvised idea became an entire emergency casualty transportation system. Unwittingly, Paco became the coordinator of dozens of taxi drivers who risked their lives to take injured people not only to the Virgen del Rocío hospital but to other hospitals in the city, medical centers and field hospitals later when these were installed by the army.

There is talk of awarding Paco the city medal, although he once again emphasizes wanting to maintain his anonymity and that he did nothing special, just what was necessary. Be that as it may, the attitude and bravery of this Sevillian taxi driver inspired many others and thanks to this countless lives could be saved. He was another of the heroes of Seville and this has been his story.