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New York Post photog defends actions during subway push death
The photographer whose pictures of the man thrown into the path of a subway unleashed a maelstrom of criticism said Wednesday that he was too far from the victim to help.
R. Umar Abbasi, a freelance photographer for the New York Post, said he rapidly shot dozens of frames using his flash in a vain effort to alert the train driver to the presence of the stunned victim on the tracks on Monday.
Seconds later the train struck and killed Ki-Suck Han, 58, of Queens, as he tried to pull himself back up to the platform at the 49th Street station, an incident that has struck a nerve in a city where getting jostled by strangers on crowded subway platforms is a daily occurrence.
"My condolences to the family, and if I could have, I would have pulled Mr. Han out," Abbasi said on NBC's "Today" show.
The Post sparked greater outrage than usual on Tuesday when it featured one of Abbasi's photographs on its front page.
It showed Han trying to pull himself from the tracks and looking into the lights of the oncoming train with the headlines "DOOMED" and "Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die."
In a first-person account the Post yesterday, Abbasi said the incident "was one of the most horrible things I have ever seen, to watch that man dying there."
"The sad part is, there were people who were close to the victim, who watched and didn't do anything," he wrote. "You can see it in the pictures."