“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer’s hand.”
— Lucius Annaeus Seneca
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — The violent death of an Ilongga housekeeper pushed in a subway train in Manhattan recently, has stunned the Filipino community.
I always tell newly-arrived or just visiting friends in the Big Apple to stay away from the yellow lane of the subway train platform and to never trust anyone when waiting for the next train.
There’s no harm in taking precautions. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
We never know if we are standing next to a lunatic who is a fellow passenger. Or a violent-prone maniac with criminal instinct who does not like the way we look or the color of our skin.
In every paradise there is serpent–like the New York City Subway.
The largest rapid transit system in the world by number of stations, the New York City Subway, with 469 stations in operation, is also the most deadly in the world.
There are actually only 422, if stations connected by transfers are counted as single stations located throughout the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.
This year alone, as of this writing, 44 people were killed by trains. Last year saw 50 fatalities in all, according to the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
The Daily News reported that the 2016 death toll includes Connie Watton, 49, a former resident of Iloilo City in the Philippines, who lived in Queens.
A woman who has battled mental illness, later identified as Melanie Liverpool, is accused of sending Watton into the path of a 1 train at Times Square on Nov. 7.
Connie’s shocking death became the talk of the town in the Filipino community also because she had worked for decades as a housekeeper for billionaire Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman.
“My whole family is really said and shocked” about the death of 49-year-old Connie Watton, Zibby, Schwarzman’s daughter told the New York Post. “It’s horrifying.”
Connie, who was earlier reported to be “from Molo, Iloilo City”, had engaged Liverpool in a verbal spat prior to the pushing incident, witnesses said.
There were reports they they accidentally bumped each other when they swiped their cards while entering the platform area.
“Basta Ilongga mabato gid na ya kon gina away kag kon na trap na (An Ilongga will always fight back if pushed against the wall),” said Edeza Hablo, an Ilongga from Molo, Iloilo City, who has lived here for more than 10 years.
Because of the recent tragedies on train tracks from people being shoved or fatally jumping from platforms to their deaths, some MTA officials are reconsidering putting up barriers and technology to stem the carnage.
Transit systems in London and Paris use sliding barriers on some platforms, it was learned.
By annual ridership, the New York City Subway is the busiest rapid transit rail system in the United States and in the Western world, as well as the seventh busiest rapid transit rail system in the world; the metro (subway) systems in Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai, Moscow, Tokyo, and Guangzhou record a higher annual ridership.