A homeless couple, a man and woman, were found dead on the New York City subway train tracks on Friday, April 29th. The bodies of the deceased were discovered around 11:00 am. According to reports, the couple was run over by a train while walking on the tracks. The woman was found in the tunnel while it appeared as though the man was dragged slightly further by the train. His body was discovered close to a train stop. The bodies of the two people were discovered close to the 145th Street station in Hamilton Heights. It is reported that the victims did not have any form of identification on them when their bodies were discovered so it was not possible to identify them at that time. They were pronounced dead on the scene where their bodies were discovered.
The subway has become a place of refuge for the homeless population in New York City. Some of them have nowhere else to go but the subway. An MTA survey from January 2022 states that 350 people live in 29 encampments for the homeless in the subway. Additionally, 89 people live in subway stations. The survey further stated that the number of people entering the tracks had increased by 20%. “It’s lunacy that people are voluntarily intruding on subway tracks, requiring transit workers to risk their own safety looking for encampments day in, day out,” said MTA Chief Safety and Security Officer Pat Warren.
Warren went on to further emphasize the dangers of walking the train tracks, highlighting how the practice was against the law and could lead to injuries or death for those walking as well as those riding the subway. Mayor Eric Adams has called for city officials to remove the homeless from the subway. It has proved to be a challenging problem to solve seeing as there is a significant number of the homeless still living in the subway, weeks after his administration began taking steps to remove them.
The death of the couple comes almost two weeks after two other people were killed on the subway tracks. Two French graffiti artists, Julien Blanc and Pierre Audebert, were struck by a train in a tunnel in Brooklyn on Wednesday, April 20th. Their bodies were identified by their boss and fellow artist Ceet Fouad. According to reports, Fouad last saw the two men the night before they were found dead. Fouad said that Blanc and Audebert had two particular dreams which were traveling to New York City and painting a subway train. According to Fouad, painting a train would have been like winning the World Cup for a pair of artists. “I didn’t think in New York they would take that kind of risk,” Fouad said. “If I knew that they were going to do a train in New York since they’re under my responsibility … if I knew, I would tell them not to do it.”
These incidents highlight the problem of trespassing on the subway. In 2021, there were 200 instances of collisions because of the trespassing, and 68 of them were fatal. The MTA intends on addressing the matter of trespassers. It is reported that they look to introduce technology that will allow for the detection and identification of trespassers on the train tracks.