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Woman hurt in gap fall at Merrick LIRR station

View of the gap distance on the platform

View of the gap distance on the platform to the train on the eastbound side of the Merrick Train Station. (March 20, 2010) Photo Credit: Photo by Richard Slattery

A Long Island Rail Road passenger injured her right knee when she fell into the gap between the platform and an eastbound train at the Merrick station Saturday afternoon, a Long Island Rail Road spokesman said.

"My leg hurts! My leg hurts!" the woman cried after falling, said a conductor who said he helped her out of the gap. The conductor would not give his name because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Medics took the injured woman to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow about 4 p.m., LIRR spokesman Stanley Davis said.

"She fell into the gap up to her knee," Davis said.

The woman was treated for a bruised right knee, Davis said. Her name was not released.

Service on the train, the 3:10 p.m. from Penn Station due to arrive in Babylon at 4:24 p.m., was relatively unaffected.

The conductor who helped the woman said she fell because she had gotten off the train, then tried to get back on quickly.

The woman began to cry after she fell, said the conductor.

"I just lifted her out of the gap," he said.

The woman told officials she was coming from Rockville Centre.

"She was upset, obviously," the conductor said. "It's just one of those things."

A Newsday investigation in 2007 revealed that since 1995 the LIRR logged more than 800 gap incidents at stations from Penn Station to Bridgehampton. At that time, the gap at the Merrick station was measured to be about 9 inches.

Since then, the platform has been modified, with extensions added to lessen the gap. The width of the gap at the spot where the woman fell Saturday was not immediately known.

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