A man was dragged to his death by a New York City subway train Tuesday evening, authorities said.
The man was standing near the edge of the subway platform when the incoming train caught hold of an article of clothing and pulled him into the tunnel, a New York Police Department spokesman said.
The incident occurred at the 7 train stop at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. Officers responded to a 911 call about a person struck by a train at approximately 7:20 p.m., according to a second NYPD spokeswoman, Detective Annette Shelton. The 39-year-old man, who has not been publicly identified, was found with severe trauma to his body and was later pronounced dead.
Police and transit officials are investigating how the accident occurred. According to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority official, the platform was not crowded at the time, and it appeared that the train was already moving when the man entered the platform. The official said it was unclear why the man made contact with the train.
An unnamed law enforcement official told the New York Times that surveillance video shows the man being pulled into the tunnel as the subway train pulls away, and that train operators were alerted to what had happened when his body struck an electrical box, causing a flash.
The MTA tweeted Tuesday night that service had been disrupted because of the accident.
The Times reported that witnesses saw the man walking along the yellow stripe that runs along subway platforms as a warning not to stand too close to the edge.
In 2016, 48 people were fatally struck by subway trains, DNAinfo reported. A 2008 study of medical examiner’s records counted 668 subway-related fatalities between 1990 and 2003 that included deaths caused by homicide, suicide and accident.
On Dec. 29, a man was fatally struck after attempting to move between train cars. It was the fourth time that month a person had died trying to move between cars. In October 2016, a teenage boy died after jumping in front of a train the Times Square station.
Subway accidents are not confined to the tracks. In January, a young mother died after falling down the stairs at the Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street station in Manhattan.
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Kayla Epstein