PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The police officers who helped deliver a Christmas baby on a subway train reunited with the newborn boy and his parents Friday morning, trading the chaos of the dingy rail car where they first met for the comfort of a hospital room.
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Police Sgt. Daniel Caban and Officer Darrell James -- who joined the delivery-in-progress shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday -- sat bedside with the baby and his mother at Hahnemann University Hospital, chatting and posing for pictures.
Passengers on the eastbound Market-Frankford train said the officers helped coach the woman through the delivery, removed the umbilical cord from the boy's neck and placed him in her arms. The baby's father wrapped him in a shirt to keep warm.
"It was breathtaking," said passenger Ashley Dorsey, who aided in the birth.
Dorsey said the woman's water broke as the train headed for the 15th and Market streets station.
Passengers rushed in to help, turning the woman to her side and laying her flat across a row of seats, Dorsey said. The woman's husband appeared frantic, she said, so passengers kept congratulating him to calm him down.
"Of course nobody wants to give birth on the train, but I'm so glad she was on the train instead of out on the street," Dorsey said.
Once at the station, passengers stood in the doorway to prevent the doors from closing and to get the attention of the train engineer. Word of the impending birth spread to Caban on the sidewalk above. James, across the station on the westbound platform, heard Caban's radio call and ran over.
SEPTA police Chief Thomas Nestel III tweeted his excitement over the birth, writing: "Transit Police SGT and PO deliver baby on Market Frankford El train!!!! WOOHOO!!! Now that's a Christmas gift!!!"
Later, the chief joked that he had waived the fare for SEPTA's "newest rider."
The mother and newborn were reported in good condition at the hospital. A spokeswoman said the family was declining interview requests.
James, a father himself, called the birth a blessing. Caban said helping bring a new life into the world was a gift all its own.
"I had already opened all my presents," Caban told WPVI-TV on Thursday. "I didn't know I had another one waiting for me around 5:53 this afternoon."