MTA Investigating How Man Was Dragged to Death in Manhattan – NBC New York

The subway rider who was dragged to his death in a horrific freak accident in the NYC subway was described as a quintessential New Yorker by the head of the MTA — as the transit agency looks into what may have gone so horribly wrong.

The victim, 20-year-old Joe Ancona, was racing to catch a downtown 1 train at the Columbus Circle station during Monday’s evening rush. After running down the platform, he was holding a subway door open when his clothing somehow got caught in the door, authorities said.

The train started moving, bringing Ancona along with it — dragging him down onto the tracks where he was hit by another train. He died from his injuries.

Ancona was a member of the stage crew at the Metropolitan Opera in Manhattan. On Wednesday, MTA CEO Janno Lieber said that while every subway death hurts, Ancona’s was especially heartbreaking.

“A 20-year old who got into the stage hands union — who was working one of our cultural facilities trying to bounce back from the pandemic,” Lieber said. “Every loss of life in the mass transit system breaks my heart, this one is a little extra.”

Lieber said that the MTA is still investigating why the doors didn’t automatically open, and whether the conductor was watching the platform out of a window, as required, when the train pulled out of the station. It wasn’t clear if anyone saw him struggle, or whether the conductor could have opened the doors.

It’s a situation that many New Yorkers who ride the subway have often at least thought of, if not feared, as it appears to be something that could happen to anyone in a hurry.

The tragic accident highlights some other potential dangers of the transit system as MTA and elected officials combat a spike in random violence.

NYC Transit President Richard Davey issued a statement Monday offering condolences to the family of the victim and vowing a thorough investigation.

“While the investigation is in its earliest stages, it appears this was a terrible accident that did not involve criminal activity,” Davey said, likely trying to assuage people concerned about the uptick in unprovoked violence. “A person on the tracks was hit by a train and our thoughts are with his family, the train operator and riders who witnessed this tragedy. We will get to the cause and learn any lessons that may emerge as there is no higher priority than safety.”

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