Self Sabotage in the Subways

Subway suicides happen all the time and you never hear about it, the MTA does not make this a known issue and the newspapers almost never print the names of the deceased. This morning, the AMNY printed a story about the murder suicide of a man who stabbed his wife numerous times and then threw himself in front of the 7 train. Both were rushed to the hospital and both died, they were survived by their 19 year old daughter. Article can be found here in the AMNY.

When my friend Sunny took his life, he took only his own and you never saw a single article or news piece on it. Is that your way into the news? Do you have to make sure you kill more than just yourself? The news is supposed to report our current events but why is it only the tragic and dramatic that get room for print or television. Its always bad news anyways, why not give attention to the reality of issues here in NY. It’s not just about crazed shooters and fare hikes. So many families have mourned the loss of someone who used the trains or subways for self sabotage.

The MTA now has police on buses and trains to decrease crime and increase safety due to the recent shootings of children as casualties of gang related disputes. But how do you keep people safe from themselves? As New Yorkers, we are constantly in transit and are updated on the progress of MTA’s improvements and expectations. There are signs all over telling you about how much better everything is or will get. I will not say that I do not enjoy shinier train cars and knowing when the train will arrive but how many more lives will be taken before some form of precaution is taken to ensure a person’s safety from themselves?

While I don’t know if I will ever believe the count of deaths we are given statistically, I read that 7% of successful suicides in NYC are train related.  Seeing as little to no stories are published unless the story is good or the train station is major, I wonder if the lives taken in outer boroughs and on the LIRR are accounted for. In 2010, 8 lives were taken in less than 2 weeks, train conductors endure severe trauma, I am sure and will anyone speak up about a solution to this devastating issues.

On my morning commute, I sat on the express train reading the paper, tears in my eyes, reading this article about a couple’s dispute that ended in suicide and a girl left without her parents. I thought of Sunny and I thought about the family he left behind, the mother who mourns and the sister who will never forget. I remember the night I got the call, I remember looking all over the news and internet hoping to find something that told me what happened. I hoped that because I couldn’t find anything that it wouldn’t be true.

Maybe I am just ranting because I find myself with more questions than answers. But how can the MTA address this issues? How can they prevent this from happening? Safety does not mean safety against frotteurists and crazed gunmen, safety is foreseeing possible disasters and not ignoring the issues that are so evident no matter how taboo.

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It has been nearly 4 years and I still can’t bring myself to take that train ride.

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