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LIRR rider hurt after platform fall in Ronkonkoma

Police said an intoxicated Long Island Rail Road

Police said an intoxicated Long Island Rail Road customer was injured while exiting a train at Ronkonkoma. (Feb. 19, 2013) Credit: James Carbone

A Long Island Rail Road customer, who police said was intoxicated, was injured while exiting a train at Ronkonkoma and possibly tripped on the station platform gap.

LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said the man, who officials would not identify, was getting off an eastbound train due in Ronkonkoma at 12:37 p.m. that left Penn Station at 11:14 a.m. when he "apparently tripped over the gap and fell onto the platform."

Arena said that MTA police believed the man to be intoxicated. The man cut up his face when his head hit the south platform on the west end of the station. Emergency medical service workers responded to the scene and took the man by ambulance to Brookhaven Hospital.

"He never fell into the gap," Arena said. "It was just a matter of getting him upright and getting him into an ambulance."

The LIRR has spent nearly $40 million since 2007 to shrink gaps between trains and station platforms. The effort began after a Newsday investigation that found that about 38 percent of station platforms had dangerous gaps, Syosset's as wide as 15 inches.

The Newsday investigation stemmed from the August 2006 death of Natalie Smead, 18, of Northfield, Minn., who was killed after falling through a nearly 8-inch gap coming out of a train, crawling under a platform and being struck by another train.

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