NYC woman dies, struck by train while retrieving purse

Kim LaCapria - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 10:00 p.m. ET

A woman was killed yesterday on an Upper East Side subway track during an attempt to retrieve a fallen gym bag.

Rose Mankos, 48, was struck by a 6 train heading north at the 77th street station, desperately attempting to climb back on to the platform as horrified fellow passengers shouted instructions for her to lie flat on the tracks. The driver sounded the train’s horn several times but was unable to brake in time to save Mankos.

Witnesses describe a harrowing scene as the doomed woman attempted to evade the oncoming train:

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“She had one choice to make and seconds to make it,” said Alfonso McGruder, 55, of The Bronx, who witnessed the tragedy. “She didn’t make the one that would have saved her life.

“She tried to go under the platform because the train was bearing down on her. Then she tried to climb onto the platform, but she couldn’t do that. Then she just froze.”

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McGruder says the woman appeared to “give up” as the subway train rapidly approached. MTA officials commented, reminding riders not to attempt to retrieve items that fall on to subway tracks:

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NYC Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges said, “The message to our customers is clear: If you drop something on the tracks, do not attempt to retrieve it. Alert a transit employee or a police officer.”

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Police say Mankos died instantly.


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