MTA Considers What to Do About Subway Push Deaths

Monday, Jan 28, 2013  |  Updated 8:57 PM EDT
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It's a major new proposal to protect subway commuters in the wake of several deadly pushes and falls underground: The idea is to put screens on platforms, but is it practical? News 4's Andrew Siff has the details.

NBC 4 New York

It's a major new proposal to protect subway commuters in the wake of several deadly pushes and falls underground: The idea is to put screens on platforms, but is it practical? News 4's Andrew Siff has the details.

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Photos and Videos

Video Shows Fight Before Subway Push

NYPD released video taken by a bystander of the fight between two men before one of them pushed the other, Ki-Suk Han, into the tracks at 49th Street in December, where a southbound Q train struck and killed him.

Woman Charged With Hate Crime in Fatal Subway Push

Erika Menendez, 31, of Rego Park, told authorities she pushed 46-year-old Sunando Sen onto the tracks in front of an oncoming No. 7 train to his death because she has hated Muslims since Sept. 11. She was charged Saturday with murder as a hate crime, prosecutors said. Checkey Beckford Reports.
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Weeks after two subway passengers were pushed to their deaths in separate incidents, one in Queens and another in Manhattan, officials on Monday discussed boosting safety efforts in the nation's busiest subway system.

An awareness campaign was presented at the monthly MTA board meeting. Measures include announcements in English and other languages warning riders not to stand at platform edges.

Fifty-five people died last year after they were pushed, fell or jumped onto the tracks, up from 47 in 2011, according to the MTA. The numbers are small compared to the 1.6 billion subway rides taken each year.

Former Gov. David Paterson, who is on the MTA board, noted that most subway fatalities are suicides and are difficult to prevent.

Still, given the recent deaths, the MTA is being urged to try a more elaborate and expensive option: glass safety barriers. Although such barriers could be a difficult addition to a system that that dates back 108 years.

Subway systems from Shanghai and Dubai to Paris have installed safety doors over the last three decades.

New York City Transit President Thomas Prendergast said it would cost $1.5 million per station, or $1 billion for the entire system.

Another possibility would be alarms that sound when someone crosses the yellow danger line.

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