Known as a national hero whose sacrifice story is being taught in Iranian schools, Riz Ali Khajavi was admitted to Imam Reza Hospital due to a severe pulmonary complication 20 days ago and died later on Saturday at 86.
Iranians know him since school day in their books, as the devoted hero who took off his coat in freezing weather, tied it to a stick and set it on fire while running toward a high-speed train screaming danger to draw the train driver's attention due to the landslide brought down rocks landslide brought down on a railroad from overlooking mountain.
The driver managed to stop the train so a crash was averted.
Third grade elementary school students study the sacrifice of this countryman in their Persian textbook in a story called 'Dehgan-e Fadakar' (Devoted Villager). Therefore, in the past four decades students have read about the event which took place in the vicinity of the old city of Mianeh, East Azerbaijan province.
In a message cabled on Saturday night, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani expressed his sincere condolences over the death of Iranian hero, saying "the courageous story of Mr. Riz Ali Khajavi and his sacrifice to save the lives of his compatriots became a lesson for the children of our homeland."
"I convey my condolences to the noble people of Iran and the bereaved family of the deceased hero," he added.