Two apparently homeless people were hit by a train on Friday and died in a Manhattan subway tunnel – marking the second time in two weeks that homeless people have been fatally hit in the system and prompted city leaders to take action.
A man and woman were hit by a southbound Line 1 train as it approached the Broadway and West 145 stationth Street in Hamilton Heights around 10:30 a.m., the NYPD said.
According to police, both people were pronounced dead at the scene. The couple had apparently been walking on the tracks when they were hit. It was not clear if or how the two knew each other.
The incident happened just over a week after April 20.
The two men were spotted by a Line 3 conductor that morning and had apparently been hit by an earlier train.
City Hall and the MTA have scrambled to take action to address the rising track collapses.
“It’s insane that people willingly trespass on subway tracks and require transit workers to risk their own safety to look for camps every day,” said Pat Warren, MTA’s chief safety and security officer.
“We shouldn’t have to keep saying it: tracks are dangerous and walking on them is illegal, obviously life-threatening and can affect thousands of other drivers. As Mayor Adams says, there has to be a better alternative for people who need housing and assistance.”
Officials have also grappled with a large presence of homeless people in train stations and tunnels in recent months. This has led to several high-profile incidents that have rocked Straphanger, including the death in January of Michelle Go, who was pushed into the path of an R train at the Times Square station by a deranged homeless man.
Mayor Eric Adams launched a program in February that sends outreach teams to the subways to connect the homeless and the mentally ill with social services. Adams’ office claims the subway safety plan resulted in over 700 people taking shelter.
These teams cannot enter the tracks or train tunnels.
“No one should trespass on the tracks without proper training – it’s illegal, a safety hazard and extremely dangerous,” said Kate Smart, a spokeswoman for Adams.
“We are grateful to our partners at the MTA who are doing the important work of clearing the tracks.”
Traffic officials pledged earlier this year to launch a pilot program of barriers on train platforms in the wake of Go’s killing. Used in cities like Paris and Hong Kong, the barriers have been offered as an option in the Big Apple several times over the years, but were deemed impractical due to a high price tag.
“It’s just heartbreaking and the number of people ending up on the tracks is increasing,” Borough President Mark Levine said of the 145th Street deaths.
“It’s cases like Michelle Go that get the public’s attention, but there’s really all sorts of reasons people get on the trail.”
Reported track trespassing increased by 20 percent from 2019 to 2021, according to a February report by the Track Trespassing Task Force. Of the 1,267 total burglaries in 2021, 200 resulted in collisions and 68 fatalities, the report said.
Since the beginning of the year, the agency has been collecting more precise reasons for people stepping onto the tracks. Of the 160 incidents logged in January, 79 were listed as voluntary trespassing, while 40 were attributed to mental illness or emotional disorders, nine suicides and four assaults, the data shows.
“There’s a painfully high rate of suicides, there’s people falling, there’s people getting pushed,” Levine said.
“All of this can be prevented if we had screen doors on the platforms. With every death, the arguments for it grow stronger.”
https://nypost.com/2022/04/29/two-people-killed-by-subway-train-in-manhattan-nyc/ Two people killed by a subway train in Manhattan, New York