(Adds comment from mayor)
By Peter Rudegeair
NEW YORK Dec 28 The death of a man who was
shoved in front of an oncoming New York City subway train
spurred a police hunt on Friday for the woman seen pushing him,
as the second such violent death this month left its imprint on
the city's millions of subway riders.
The woman appeared to be mumbling to herself and pacing,
witnesses told police, before she approached the man from behind
on the platform of an elevated station in the borough of Queens
and shoved him onto the subway track Thursday evening.
She ran from the station to the street in a scene caught on
video footage that the police released on Friday as they
searched for the unidentified woman, who, they said, was last
seen wearing a ski jacket along with red and gray Nikes.
The death in Queens was the second time this month that a
New York subway rider was killed after being pushed onto the
tracks - a chilling notion for anyone who uses the city's
transit system - and came just ahead of the New Year's holiday
in a city choked with visitors.
"To say that it's only two in, you know, a long period of
time doesn't help either person," New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg said on Friday on WOR Radio 710 AM's "The John
Police said it remains unclear whether the woman being
sought knew the victim, who they initially had trouble
identifying because his body had been so badly mangled by the
train. He has yet to be named.
In New York's subway stations, some took added precautions
Friday, standing a few extra feet away from the platform edge.
Commuter Chloe Morris, traveling from New Jersey, said she
prefers to sit on a bench rather than stand on the platform
while waiting for a train.
"I don't come close to the edge until a train comes," Morris
said as she waited in the Times Square station. "There's too
many crazy people in the world."
On Dec. 3, Ki-Suck Han was killed after being shoved onto
subway tracks in Manhattan as a train entered the 49th Street
station near Times Square. A suspect, Naeem Davis, has been
charged with second-degree murder.
Including Thursday's incident, 139 people were struck by New
York City subway trains so far in 2012, 54 of them fatally, a
Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman said on Friday,
adding that the tally was preliminary and subject to change.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly indicated the department would
not be adding more police to platforms anytime soon.
"We think we are properly deployed in the transit system,"
he said at a news conference on Friday.
One solution might be installing safety doors along subway
platforms that block access to the tracks until a train arrives,
something in use in several major cities around the world, said
New Yorker Tom Walker as he waited for a subway.
New York's subway system, which is more than 100 years old
and is one of the world's busiest, does not have barriers
between the platforms and the tracks.
"It's an antiquated system. Of course people are going to
fall in," Walker said.
(Additional reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Paul Thomasch
and Leslie Adler)