(Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs points out the 15 and 1/2 inch gap at the Syosset train station. Photo courtesy of Nassau County Government Website )
The curse of the gap has once again reared its ugly head on the Long Island Railroad. Today’s incident occurred at the Syosset station on the Port Jefferson branch. The victim was a 60 year old woman who became stuck in the platform gaps that are as wide as 15 inches at the Syosset station.
Officials are not sure if she was entering or exiting the train when the accident took place. The accident took place at approximately 9:20 a.m. this morning. The train involved was the 8:55 a.m. train out of Huntington that was due at Penn Station at 10:05 a.m. According to LIRR spokesman Sam Zambuto, the woman got both of her legs entangled both legs in the gap. She immediately requested medical attention & was taken to Syosset Hospital with abrasions to both legs.
It seems the Syosset station is no stranger to gap accidents. According to statistics obtained by Newsday, there were 39 gap related accidents at the Syosset between 1989 and July 2007. We also learn that on one day in January of 1996, there were 3 separate gap accidents at the station.
This probably leads to people wondering why the MTA did not install mechanical gap fillers. As usual it comes down to money with them. According to a study, the MTA would have needed to spend $72 million dollars to install mechanical gap fillers system wide. They instead decided to install a CCTV system which came with 24 surveillance cameras that feature 12 on each platform.
Leave it to the MTA to penny pinch on such an important issue. One would think the MTA would have gotten their heads out of the sand after all the gap related accidents especially the national attention it dubiously earned from the Natalie Smead incident. Instead they felt $72 million dollars was too much, this coming from an agency that wastes money like it is going out of style! On a side note…….
I have to admit I wonder if this woman was entering or exiting the train. If I had to venture a guess, I would say she was running to catch the train. I say this based on the time of the accident along with the Port Jefferson timetable. The incident involved the 8:55 a.m. train out of Huntington due at Penn Station at 10:05 a.m.
The 8:55 a.m. train starts at Huntington (In case you didn’t know, a good percentage of Port Jefferson trains start & end at Huntington.) & is scheduled to arrive at 9:07 a.m. The incident occurred at 9:20 a.m. which means that train was 13 minutes late. I feel the odds clearly lean to the train being late & this woman running to catch the train which led to the accident.