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Polance tells the Globe she thought the woman wasn't at fault for the incident, because the gap was "too wide". After the woman was freed, Polanco stayed to help her.

All the while as the woman was shaking from her injuries she begged the commuters not to call an ambulance as she was terrified about the cost of paying for the call out.

"Do you know how much an ambulance costs?" she wept. Boston Globe reporter Maria Cramer live-tweeted from the scene and described the woman's leg as "bloody and twisted".

A woman got her leg stuck in a train platform in Boston last week and asked other passengers not to call the ambulance because she couldn't afford it. Recently Kramer saw a woman leaving the subway, got a foot in the gap between the train and the platform. "'I can't afford that", Cramer tweeted.

Ms Cramer wrote that many readers had suggested the woman should have called an Uber instead of an ambulance to transport her to hospital in a bid to slash her expenses - a practice that's growing in popularity in the U.S., where average ambulance fees can range from $300 to almost $3000.

The story picked up more traction when The New York Times editorial board wrote about the platform accident on Monday with the headline: "This Tweet Captures the State of Health Care in America Today".

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She was eventually taken to the Boston Medical Center, where her thigh was found to have a "serious laceration, exposing the bone" that would need surgery.

Ms Cramer said despite the woman clearly being in "agony", she seemed to be more concerned by the financial impact of treatment.

Emergency Medical Technicians arrived and the woman agreed to go with them.

When the woman was finally freed from the gap, her leg was severed.

Video of several people rushing to help rescue the 45-year-old woman, who has not been identified, has gone viral over the past few days. A Kaiser Health News report found a year ago that with private companies taking over ambulance services in many towns and cities, patients often face thousands of dollars in bills even for a brief ride to a hospital.

The "transit ambassadors" stood, staring at her, fiddling with phones.