Woman, 88, dies after LIRR escalator fall

Long Island Rail Road commuters react to the news that an elderly woman fell to her death from a platform escalator in Lindenhurst. Videojournalist: Ellen Yan (March 13, 2012)

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An 88-year-old woman died Tuesday after falling down a Long Island Rail Road station escalator in Lindenhurst, officials said.

LIRR spokesman Sam Zambuto said the woman, who was not identified, died "after apparently falling on the escalator serving the station's platform." An off-duty LIRR conductor tried to help the woman, Zambuto said.

MTA police are investigating the accident, which took place shortly before 2 p.m., and the escalator was taken out of service for inspection. Officials had no details on the accident and were trying to notify family members before identifying the victim.

"The LIRR offers its heartfelt condolences to the woman's family," Zambuto said.

Earlier trains on the Babylon line bypassed the Lindenhurst station, but full access to the station and its platforms was restored around 5:30 p.m.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the escalator, with more than 50 steps, was blocked with yellow tape and cones, and commuters were instead climbing up to the platform on the adjacent stairway. A more permanent barrier was expected to be erected while the investigation continues.

The Lindenhurst Fire Department had no comment.

Tuesday afternoon, several regular riders, including Nathaniel McDonald, said the escalator is often off or not working.

"I would see a lot of people on the steps halfway, people who cannot make it up the steps, and rest, like older people," said McDonald, a Patchogue resident who works by the train station. "Some people ask if there's an elevator. I said no. A lot of times, I would help people with their carriages and packages. I'm going up anyway."

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