Yesterday morning, a woman was killed by an uptown 6 train when she was unable to get off of the tracks. Jean Eng of Chinatown was trying to retrieve her fallen purse at the southern part of the tracks. The Daily News says that she had tried to look for a pole to fish the purse out, but dropped down to the tracks when she couldn't find an aid. People tried to help her up from the tracks (which are a 5-foot drop from the platform), but didn't have enough time; other sources say that Eng may have been "mentally handicapped, and might not have been aware of the danger of climbing down to the tracks." The MTA does have notices in the subways saying not to retrieve things in the tracks in different language. It hasn't been a good week for the 6 train; a man committed suicide by jumping onto the tracks at Canal Street on Tuesday.
Last year, a woman was killed by an oncoming train when she tried to retrieve her cellphone from the tracks. After hearing about stories like these, Gothamist makes sure we stand a good distance from the platform edge. The NY Press had a story about why the L train shouldn't be computerized - a man had fallen in during an epileptic fit. The Observer looked at the phenomenon of feeling like the subway trains are pulling you towards them as they enter the stations (more reason not to stand near the platform edge). Here's the MTA's guide to riding safely.