A man and a woman, both believed to be homeless, were killed on the subway Friday morning, officials said.
The couple was found just before noon. 11 near the 145th Street One-train subway stop in Hamilton Heights, NYPD officials said. The woman’s body was found inside the underground tunnel, while the man appeared to have been dragged by the train into the nearby stop.
Police said the victims had no identification with them and could not be identified immediately. Officials said they believed the couple were homeless and potentially seeking shelter in the underground system.
“It’s insane for people to voluntarily intrude on subway tracks, requiring transit workers to risk their own safety looking for camps day in, day out,” MTA security and safety chief Pat Warren said in response to Friday’s death. He cited the MTA’s January study, which found that 350 people lived in 29 camps inside subway tunnels and 89 inside subway stations. The survey also showed that cases of people entering the tracks had increased 20 percent since 2019, NY1 reported.
“We must not keep saying that: tracks are dangerous, and walking on them is illegal, obviously life-threatening and can affect thousands of other riders,” Warren said.
In his first four months in office, Mayor Eric Adams pressured city agencies to clear homeless people off the subways and out of camps. Proponents of the homeless claim that these celebrations have further marginalized the most vulnerable New Yorkers and pushed them into even less secure situations, such as underground tunnels.
“People have found themselves chased from the subways, from the sidewalks and from the parks, on to the margins and further from support,” Helen Strom, with the Safety Net Project of the Urban Justice Center, said in a statement. “Instead, we urge the city to immediately offer the homeless the thousands of vacant support and HPD apartments available, and stop the closure of hundreds of single rooms at several hotels in Manhattan and Queens that have housed hundreds of homeless people safely under pandemic. “