'I just saw a body flying' New York subway horror

By Paul Harper

A man was pushed into the path of a subway train in New York yesterday. Photo / AFP
A man was pushed into the path of a subway train in New York yesterday. Photo / AFP

A New York newspaper's front page photo of a man's final moments before he was hit by a subway train has sparked outrage.

New York Post freelance photographer R Umar Abbasi captured Queens man Ki Suk Han, 58, desperately scrambling back on to the platform after a "deranged man" pushed him off the platform at Times Square.

The image took up the entirety of Tuesday's New York Post front page with the headline "DOOMED" and the subhead "Pushed on the subway track this man is about to die".

Before the incident, Mr Han had reportedly tried to calm his attacker, described as a panhandler, who was said to have been harassing other commuters. As the train's arrival was announced over the loudspeaker, the man threw Mr Han onto the tracks.

"Out of the periphery of my eye, I just saw a body flying, flying through the air," Mr Abbasi told the Post.

Mr Han then got to his feet and struggled to get out of the way of the oncoming train.
"The most painful part was I could see him getting closer to the edge. He was getting so close," Mr Abbasi said.

Mr Han was dragged by the train 3-5 metres. He later died in Roosevelt Hospital.
Police have since taken a suspect into custody, the New York Times reported.

Abbasi told the Post he was using the flash of his camera to warn the driver, however the published photo has been widely condemned by the Post's readers and other media.

"Why didn't the person help? How many pictures did they take? 3-4 pictures. And nobody tried to help. Not one person. The pictures sure shows that much. What an age we live in when getting the picture is more important! I am appalled," Post reader Joseph Monte wrote beneath the online story.

Another reader, Mary Kate, was also disgusted.

"How tasteless of the NY Post to publish such a grusome picture for this mans family to see. No one helped this man there were numerous videos and pictures being snapped, yet not one person tried to help save him [sic]."

Poynter senior faculty Kenny Irby said the paper's editors should be condemned, rather than the photographer.

"I get that the photographer, Mr. Abbasi, made a decision to document the imminent demise of Mr. Ki Suk Han, because he may have not been strong enough to lift the injured man from the track himself and thus he made a decision to document after attempting to warn the conductor by "rapidly flashing" his camera's flash unit," Mr Irby said.

"My problem thus is with the publication's editors, who clearly had alternative photographs to use and chose to use the most disturbing."

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