Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Second Person Struck By Subway At 72nd Street Station

MANHATTAN — A second person was hit by a subway at 72nd Street and Broadway Wednesday, just four hours after a man was struck and killed by a train at the same station, officials said.

The man was hit by an uptown 2 train just before noon. He was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital with serious injuries but was later listed in stable condition.

Police said that no criminality is suspected and that the 33-year-old man was likely intoxicated at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing, but it appeared the man had fallen onto the platform and, in the process of getting up, pitched in front of the 2 train, police said.

A witness standing on the platform on Wednesday afternoon said he observed the man screaming to himself and weaving between passengers before the incident.

"He walked straight into a pole right in front of me, head first," said the 27-year-old Columbia student who declined to give his name.

When the train pulled into the station, the man fell in front of it, the witness said.

"He was screamining for help for about 30 seconds and then silence," he said. 

Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the MTA, said that the station remained open after the incident. Northbound 2 and 3 trains ran on the local track between Times Square and 96th Street until about 1:30 p.m. Southbound 2 and 3 trains ran as normal. 

Kevin Duke, 61, was selling umbrellas outside the subway station and saw the man, wearing a business suit and apparently unconscious, taken out on a stretcher soon after the accident.

"I felt bad. You never want to see anyone hurt," said Duke, who lives in Midtown.

Duke said that he was "shocked" that two people had been hit by trains inside the 72nd Street subway station within four hours of each other.

The earlier incident happened around 8 a.m. Wednesday when a 62-year-old man was hit by a northbound No. 2 train in what cops said was an apparent suicide.

Andrew Albert, an Upper West Side Community Board 7 member and MTA board member, said the 72nd Street station is the No. 1/2/3 line's most congested stop during morning rush hour, but the crowds form on the downtown side, not the uptown side where the two people were struck.

The station was built in 1904 as part of New York's first-ever subway line, and its narrow platforms haven't been widened since, Albert said. The station was renovated several years ago when its platforms were lengthened, but no width was added.


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