Darryn August, 27, fractured his spine when he was flung from a train and hit a tree while trying to protect female passengers from being robbed on the Metrorail train he was travelling on.

Cape Town - A Cape Town man may never walk again after he was thrown out of a moving train while defending a pregnant woman who was being robbed.

Darryn August, 27, is recovering at the Tygerberg hospital with a fractured spinal cord and punctured lungs.

The Athlone resident was on his way to work when nine men started robbing commuters in his carriage at Firgrove station last Monday.

His brother, Bernard August, 34, said Darryn was attacked when he stood up to protect a highly pregnant woman.

“He got up to help the lady and one of them hit him on the back with a crowbar and the other one started stabbing him in the head, on his arm and on his back.

“They then took his slingbag which had his iPad, earphones and his new smartcard ID,” Bernard said.

“But he still had his backpack when he was thrown out of the moving train and he slammed against a tree.

“He was still conscious when he fell and explains that he tried to get up or crawl away but couldn’t.

“That was when he took out his phone that was in his backpack and called both the police and ambulance for help before he passed out.”

Bernard said: “He lay there for hours before he was found by a worker passing by. When he got to hospital both his lungs had collapsed and had filled with fluid, and his spinal cord was fractured.”

Relatives now fear the peer educator and soccer coach to troubled teens in his area may never walk again.

His worried mom Valery said: “Metrorail has to be held accountable for this. Where were the guards when all of this was happening?”

Metrorail spokeswoman Riana Scott says they have no record of the incident but added: “Police/security cannot be everywhere at once – instead they are posted according to predetermined priority areas.”

Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said no arrests have been made yet.