A German woman pushed a 19-year-old Angolan man in front of an approaching train in a Berlin station on Sunday in a racist attack, police said.
The man managed to scramble off the track with the help of two passers-by seconds before the train arrived, police said in a statement. The engine driver saw the incident, and operated the emergency brake but said he would not have been able to stop the train in time.
The incident occurred in the Frankfurter Allee local S-Bahn train station in eastern Berlin. The woman first approached the victim and hit him while he was entering the station at 6:55 a.m. on Sunday morning, police said.
"Minutes later on the platform, she suddenly pushed him onto the tracks. In doing so she is said to have shouted out racist and xenophobic abuse," police said in a statement. Bild newspaper reported that she called the man a "shit nigger."
Police alerted by station staff arrested the 20-year-old woman in the station while she was sitting in another train waiting to depart.
The case was just one of several violent incidents on Berlin's public transport system over the weekend, including a bus driver stabbed while trying to protect a Turkish woman who was being harassed by two Turkish men.
Violence on trains and buses is percieved to be on the increase since media coverage of such incidents intensified in the wake of an assault by two immigrants on a German pensioner in the Munich subway system just before Christmas. That case led to a
debate about violent young immigrants which many criticized as xenophobic.
Sunday's attack is the latest in a series of
racially motivated assaults on foreigners in Germany. Racist attacks by far-right youths have been an ongoing problem in eastern Germany since unification in 1990.