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A woman was saved from a tragic death on the New York City Subway tracks yesterday after falling off the platform. The incident happened on the G Brooklyn–Queens Crosstown Local line heading north through Brooklyn, before the Hoyt-Schermerhorn Station.
According to an eyewitness, the unidentified woman had a seizure on the subway platform and fell on the tracks. An incoming train was entering the station when an operator noticed the woman on the tracks and immediately slammed on the brakes.
A passenger at the station captured a photo of the incident, which was then shot by local photography project Humans of New York.
Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind Humans of New York, was on board the incoming train and stated on his Facebook, “The conductor shut down the power of the train and held us there for about 20 minutes.” The woman was attended by members of the public with medical crews arriving on the scene soon after.
Following the recent bout of subway related incidents, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) has been urging their motormen to be more aware of their surroundings. They have also been encouraged to reduce their speed to about 10 miles per hour when entering the stations to avoid hitting someone who might be on the tracks. Trains are known to enter a station at a speed of 30 to 35 miles per hour.
According to John Samuelsen, President of Transport Workers Union Local 100, “The union’s motives are to save riders’ lives – and save motormen from the emotional trauma of running someone over.”
This latest effort was put in place after several recent high-profile accidents involving New York subway trains. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), however, believes that this latest message of caution from the TWU is an effort to stage a work slowdown, and any operators found to be slowing down their train without the MTA’s permission will be charged with taking part in an illegal job action which could lead to a job suspension.
While the public has urged the MTA to install platform doors or barriers to prevent further unwanted mishaps, an MTA spokesman said that platform doors would be expensive to install because it would require upgrades of the train signal system.
Despite debates surrounding ways of tackling subway safety issues, one theme has been consistent: due to the vigilance of a train operator, a life was saved. With the photograph now circulating the web, many believe that yesterday’s incident was nothing short of a miracle.
Image Courtesy : Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York