NEW YORK - A man has died after he was struck by a subway Monday in Queens. He wound up on the tracks after fighting on the platform, police said.
The man was struck by a Jamaica-bound F train just before 5 p.m. at the Roosevelt Avenue-74th Street station in Jackson Heights.
Police said it started when a 48-year-old man bumped into a 50-year-old man who dropped his cellphone onto the tracks. There was an argument over who should go and get it. It turned physical and the 48-year-old fell.
It was not immediately clear if the victim was pushed onto the tracks or if he fell on his own.
This is the ninth person killed in the transit system this year and riders are on edge, CBS2's Kevin Rincon reported.
"For anyone to lose their life over a fight, I mean what is that? What does that say about our society?" said Charlton D'souza, president of Passengers United.
There was a mix of emotions at the station in Jackson Heights. Frustration, anger and fear after the deadly fight.
"At this station, there's constantly issues here. There's constantly people falling on the tracks. There's no police to be found," said D'souza.
"This place is getting crazy, like the whole city. We are not secure anymore, anywhere," said Mario Toro.
"I'm shaking a little bit," said Eddie Lara, who has been taking the subway almost his entire life.
Lara said things have changed so much that he doesn't feel safe anymore.
"Not going to take the train anymore, because every time watching what's going on around you, because some crazy people are going to push you," said Lara.
Many at the station said subway crime is an issue that needs to be solved across the city.
"There's a lot of mental illness going on right now in the subway system. You have a lot of these individuals who are depressed, they're angry, and one little incident, one little argument can lead to a fatal push and shove," said D'souza.
The MTA is studying the problem of people falling, or even jumping, onto the tracks. Earlier this year, the agency installed platform gates at three subway stations as part of a pilot program. It could be expanded in the future.
Meantime, train conductors are now required to announce when there are police officers on trains or at stations. The MTA said it's part of a new initiative to make passengers feel safe and able to report any safety concerns.
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