A few months back, I was on an F train, going from Brooklyn to Manhattan, when the train stopped short in between York Street and East Broadway. I was toward the back of the train, and didn’t notice anything particularly jarring about the stop, other than that it was rather abrupt, and that the primary electricity on the train immediately went out, leading to mass panic. Or, well, no. Not mass panic. The lights went back on. And people opened the windows for fresh air. But one man started to panic and pace the length of the car, screaming, “I know you hit someone! You’re going to pay for hitting someone!” All in all, it was a pretty unnerving ten minutes as this man kept yelling and we all saw MTA workers bearing flashlights walking the length of the tracks, looking under the cars. But we were all evacuated without incident, shuffling en masse to the front car of the train, which had just barely made it to the East Broadway station. The ranting man never stopped ranting, even though it wasn’t clear that the train had hit anything, or anyone. I never read anything about it. And so, I figured it was just another one of those YouTube-able New York experiences that you then complain about to your friend who you’re meeting for whiskey at 2pm on a Thursday. Anyway. Even though I might never know what happened that day, if it had happened in 2011, let’s say, I could just look at this awesome map put together by Gothamist, which breaks down where all the subway-related fatalities and serious injuries have occurred during the time period of 2010-2012. But so, enough about the East Broadway station. Where in Brooklyn did the most fatalities happen during that three year period?
The station with the most safety incidents was the Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center station, which clocked in at 8, including a truly gruesome incident where a man’s leg was severed at his knee. Also at Atlantic Avenue, a woman jumped in front of a train, but was spared—despite three cars passing over her—because she landed in the well between the tracks. Other stations that had three or more major safety incidents include Jay Street-Metrotech (including another attempted suicide who survived, but needed his foot amputated), Nostrand Avenue (out of five incidents, four were attempted suicides), and Kings Highway (two suicides out of four injuries). This map is sobering, to be sure—in fact, it literally might want to make you sober up, as a large number of these injuries were due to intoxication—but it’s also somewhat reassuring to see how few subway stations were actually impacted by fatalities or major injury over the course of three years. But even so, be careful not to stand to close to the tracks. Really. You don’t want to join the apparent masses of New Yorkers who’ve gotten an amputation by 2 train. You really don’t.
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