A man who was apparently unaware that a train was coming was hit in the head by a subway car entering the 96th Street train station on Sunday afternoon. He was taken to St. Luke’s hospital in serious condition, according to the Daily News.

The man was walking down the platform of the 96th St. Station on Broadway at about 2 p.m. when he turned his head and was hit by an oncoming No. 1 train, witnesses said.

The train conductor, apparently unaware the man had been hit, kept heading downtown, witnesses said.

He was bleeding but conscious while EMTs worked on him, the newspaper reported.

NEWS | 28 comments | permalink
    1. Sherman says:

      I was at the station with my family returning from the street fair. We saw the guy was on the ground surrounded by police and EMT staff. He was drenched in blood.

      We thought he was stabbed or shot.

      Crazy story.

    2. Ted says:

      I went on a brief tour of the Rescue 1 station on 43rd street a few years ago. One of the veterans of the unit said there were three things he would never do in NYC.

      1. Stand within 6 feet of the edge of train platform

      2. Get out of his vehicle to assist in an accident on the Westside Highway.

      3. Ride a bicycle in the city.

      While I know a lot of people would take exception to #3 this firefighter had seen a lot.

      • Cat says:

        All good tips, but on the 72nd street platform you have no chance to stand farther than 6 feet from the edge of the platform or you’d be right off the other side of it.

      • Janice says:

        I grew up in the city and I think it is NUTS to ride a bike. I know two people–TWO–who sustained very serious traumatic brain injuries because of bike accidents. Both involved just stopping short because of pedestrians. One partly recovered, the other will pretty much be a vegetable for the rest of his life.

      • Pollyanna of the UWS says:

        Let’s thank that Fireman for speaking the truth about how dangerous those 3 unheeded cautions can be to ones good health. MTA needs more frequent trains so platforms aren’t so crowded. DOT to pull out those street congesting bike lanes that the residents in CB7 didn’t want in the first place. (No thanks to Mark Levine & Helen Rosenthal who were lobbied by the bicycle contingency, and in turn lobbied CB7 members to add them to our streets). And let’s not forget their isn’t a break-down lane for most of the downtown side of the WS Highway. Hmmm…. just sayin’

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        wise advice, though i do ride regularly.

    3. Drew Kopf says:

      How can we prevent this type of incident in our subways? Here is what I suggested last year in the WSR:
      Drew Kopf says:
      September 15, 2016 at 11:59 pm
      We could build walls along our subway and railroad station platforms with sliding doors located where the doors to the passenger cars are located. It would go a long way to keeping users safer and stop such terrible sadnesses from happening.

      • Mark says:

        This is a great idea and it’s been implemented in some subway systems around the world – so it’s doable!

      • Chrigid says:

        Cat: there are, or were, barriers like that at one of the curved stations at the tip of Manhattan–Bowling Green? South Ferry? Metal fencing maybe one or two bars high, with openings where the doors would open when the trains are fully stopped. Should be fairly cheap to add to perilous platforms.

      • Carlos says:

        I would only consider building the wall with sliding doors if everyone would promise not to complain about the tax and fare increases necessary to pay for said wall.

        The raised yellow floor is there for a reason. Plus we have countdown clocks now so it should be pretty obvious when a train is coming.

      • Upper West Side Wally says:

        Taking three steps back and common sense are considerably cheaper. The city and state already can’t afford this subway system, let alone one with ‘walls’. Which would result in $12 fare.

      • Independent says:

        We should indeed have gates on our subway platforms as the subway systems of many cities do. The primary reason would be to prevent people from falling, being thrown or jumping onto the tracks. Reducing noise and allowing for climate control could be additional benefits.

        The above is actually what I wrote, nearly word-for-word, in a comment from this past September that I posted in reply to Red Raleigh who had written,

        The NYC Subway system is a horrendous, disgusting embarrassment.

        A see-through platform wall running the entire length of the “open” platform with doors that open in alignment with the subway car doors when a train pulls in (like in Japan) would eliminate 95% of the noise along with allowing adequate, cost-saving air conditioning and heating on the platforms and probably stop “fall-ins”.

        Paul G added:

        One more side benefit would be to reduce litter on the tracks (reducing track fires) and stopping people from dropping their valuables down there and then dangerously attempting to retrieve them.

        Even simple railings like at the TSQ shuttle station would help protect people, though not the rest.

        The story that the above comments were posted-to was CONFIRMED: THE 86TH STREET SUBWAY STATION IS EAR-SPLITTINGLY LOUD

        I have actually mentioned the need for platform gates in a number of past comments.

        As for the cost, how much was spent on wiring every station for WiFi? How much is spent on the executives of the MTA– in salaries as well as bonuses and Johnny Dollar-type expense account items? How much taxpayer money is spent on subsidizing art (or “art”, as the case may be…) and any number of other less critical expenses?

        Before tackling a project as massive as platform gates, however, we might want to start with those shockingly dangerous gaps between the platforms and the cars.

    4. Chrigid says:

      That is a very, very narrow platform, and I’m still outraged that money was spent on mainly aesthetics and conveniences while lives were in danger on the platforms. (And yes, I adore the elevators!)(And yes, I would trade them in for wider, safer platforms.)(And yes, I know wider platforms mean widening the whole station and its approaches, in which case the funds should have been spent on something more worthwhile)

      However, even given the narrowness of the platforms, I don’t understand how you could be walking on the platform, turn your head, [1.] get your head, and only your head, hit by an incoming train and [2.] the driver be unaware of it.

      • Miranda Smith says:

        There should be more elevators not less. The subway stations need to be for the disabled as well!!

      • Rwc10025 says:

        As an aside, the Elevators in the subway is not for your convenience they are for handicap people who have no other way to access the subway station.
        People need to stand back.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        if you’re not disabled, elderly, or a mother with a baby carriage, you might “trade in the elevators” for wider platforms. also if you don’t care about compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. but those elevators are necessary for many many people.

        also, as you note, it would be almost impossible to “widen the platforms.” one would have to excavate a broader tunnel at that location.

        • EricaC says:

          Or someone carrying a heavy suitcase, or someone on crutches, or all of the above (me these days). I am very much aware of how valuable those elevators are, at the moment . . . . And I am not disabled in a way that forces me to deal with this every day.

      • lk says:

        Train mirror.

      • Sarah says:

        ADA compliance isn’t optional.

        It’s a fairly narrow platform, and the endlessly disrupted 1/2/3 service on the weekends (going on for roughly a year now, to what purpose???) doesn’t help with the crowds, but I don’t see how this guy could’ve sustained this injury if he had been behind the yellow bumps.

        Anyway, I hope he recovers. I was getting to the station just when the EMS vehicles were pulling up and I pictured something really horrible having happened.

      • Cat says:

        He must have been walking on the very edge? Plus not knowing the train was there. I don’t understand it either.

      • m.pipik says:

        Before you mouth off about making the 72nd street platform wider, maybe you should
        research the station renovation. I’m sure there is lots of info in the NY Times on-line archives. They did what they were able to do with all the structural constraints.

        There is no physical way to widen the platform further. Subways are just one part of the underground infrastructure of the City. There are, at the very least, water mains, electrical cables, sewers and building foundations. Just where and how do you think that a station can be widened? And even if possible, how many years of disrupting the entire 7th Avenue line would that take?

        • m.pipik says:

          I was editing my comment and the phone rang so it came out wrong. I meant to say.

          “Before you mouth off about making street platform wider, maybe you should
          research the 72nd the station renovation.”

        • Cato says:

          You’re right. So instead the City allows rich developers to build lots more skyscraper-condos bringing more and more people into the neighborhood who can then crowd more and more onto the narrow platform that can’t be expanded an inch.

          And this makes sense how, exactly??

          • Carlos says:

            It is a lot cheaper, more efficient and less disruptive to run trains more frequently than reconfigure stations. Running trains more frequently will get people off the platforms, achieving your goal.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              it’s not necessarily possible to run trains more frequently, particularly during rush hours. this is due to the antiquated train signaling system. a more modern system would allow less spacing between trains… but this will cost billions in capital spending and take years.

    5. Mark Moore says:

      Those bumpy yellow strips along the platform edge? They’re a good guide, heed them.

    6. the other bob says:

      I don’t know how you turn your head and get hit by a train, you have to be leaning off the platform to get hit by a train.

    7. Ronnie T. says:

      I’m sorry for the guy and hope he recovers. However, how can a subway car hit you in the head unless you are on the very edge of the platform with your head held at an angle past your shoulder? There is an ample yellow stripe from the edge about one foot deep. – enough warning to walk or stand away from the edge. It’s a puzzlement – unless you’re looking to be hit in the head by the oncoming subway.