A woman died after being pushed onto subway tracks in New York on Saturday morning, just one day after a similar incident happened in a Brussels metro station.
The 40-year-old woman, a New York resident, was waiting to catch a southbound R subway train at Times Square station in Manhattan around 9:40 when a man approached her and pushed her onto the tracks as the vehicle was approaching. The train hit the woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
“This incident was unprovoked, and the victim does not appear to have had any interaction with the subject,” police commissioner, Keechant Sewell, said at a news conference with the mayor, Eric Adams.
The attacker was a 61-year-old man who suffered from mental illness and was perhaps homeless, according to ABC News. He fled the scene after pushing the woman to her death but later turned himself in. He had already had problems with the law in the past.
The victim was of Asian origin, according to the New York Times. Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, there has been a sharp increase in hate crimes against Asians, mainly as a result of the virus wrongly being labelled the “China virus” by former US President Donald Trump, among others, further fuelling anti-Asian sentiments.
However, according to the police, there was no indication that this attack in particular was racially motivated.
Second incident in two days
The attack came just one day after a similar incident on Friday evening at the Rogier station in Brussels, where a man pushed a woman onto the tracks just as a train was approaching.
Fortunately, the metro was able to stop on time as the driver pulled the emergency brake, and the woman suffered minor injuries.
The perpetrator, a young man, immediately ran away after pushing the woman, but he has since been arrested. He was questioned by the investigating judge and placed under arrest for attempted homicide.