2007_01_6train.jpgYesterday, a man was fatally hit by a downtown 6 train at the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall stop. The victim was a 58 year homeless veteran named Jose Martinez. Martinez had probably stayed on the downtown 6 after its last stop, and the NY Sun reports that police believe that Martinez "may have been walking between cars to urinate [and] got stuck as the cars inched closer together rounding a sharp curve."

While there have been two recent incidents where good Samaritans have saved people from being hit by subways, amNew York looks the subway deaths in 2006. Last year, there were 23 deaths, with the most (8) being from natural causes. There were 5 accidents ("Alcohol and carelessness were factors" - like the guy who tried to board a train by climbing over the gates between cars) and 5 suicides, 2 murders, and 3 deaths due to unknown causes.

The methodology behind the numbers is interesting: AMNY determined the number of deaths by looking at police reports and news reports, since the NYC Transit Authority supposedly doesn't keep track of deaths. We bet the MTA does keep track, but it's confidential information, the same way there's probably a list of accidents reported on the system. At any rate, the NYCTA says that relative to the millions that ride the subways, the number of deaths is very small.

Photograph of a 6 train going through the old City Hall station by Satan's Laundromat