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Man killed after 'being pushed in front of New York subway train'
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- Two men seen arguing moments before tragic incident
By Louise Boyle and Daniel Miller
PUBLISHED: 15:18 EST, 3 December 2012 | UPDATED: 07:39 EST, 4 December 2012
A subway passenger was crushed to death after being hurled onto the tracks by a crazed panhandler who had been harassing people waiting on the platform.
Father-of-one Ki Suk Han, 58, was seen struggling to get back to safety, moments before he was hit by a train as it pulled into Times Square station.
A video has been released by police that appears to show Mr Han arguing with his suspected attacker, just moments before the fatal incident at around 12.30pm on Monday afternoon.
Scroll down for video
The two men were seen arguing before the unidentified man (left) was 'pushed' to his death
The 'pushing suspect' (right) was described as 'emotionally disturbed'
There have been varying reports that there was a dispute between the men. This video, on Nbcnewyork.com, shows the alleged attacker shouting: 'Leave me the f**k alone. Take your m*********ing a** over there, stand in line, wait for the R train, that's it.'
The New York Post newspaper quoted 'law-enforcement sources' as saying Mr Han had been trying to calm the man down before being attacked.
'He went up and tried to calm him down, saying, ‘You’re scaring people, The emotionally disturbed guy just started screaming and cursing, saying, ‘You don’t know me! You don’t know who I am!’
R. Umar Abbasi, who captured Mr Han's dramatic final moments, said he
raced towards the oncoming train firing off his flash in a desperate
attempt to get the driver to slow down.
Mr Abbasi told the Post: 'I just started running, running, hoping that the driver could see my flash.'
The photographer described seeing Mr Han being crushed 'like a rag doll'.
He added: 'Out of the periphery of my eye, I just saw a body flying, flying through the air.
'People started waving their hands, anything they could find. They were shouting to the man in the tracks, “Get out! Get out of there!”'
'The most painful part was I could see him getting closer to the edge. He was getting so close. And people were running toward him and the train.
Fatal fall: A man was killed after being hit by a New York subway train today after it is believed he was pushed
'As I was running toward the train, the man I believe pushed him ran the other way, and I heard him say, "Goddamn motherf--ker."
'I didn’t think about [the attacker] until after. In that moment, I just wanted to warn the train — to try and save a life.'
Police said that after being thrown onto the tracks Mr Han had barely missed being electrocuted on the third rail and looked stunned as he sat up with the train bearing down on him.
He then scrambled to his feet and tried in vain to clamber back onto the platform.
One witness reported seeing him being dragged 10 to 15 feet before the train finally came to a halt.
One commuter Patrick Gomez, 37, told DNAInfo: 'You heard almost like a thud. You heard people yelling, people running out...People were just standing in shock.'
A doctor who was waiting on the platform attempted to administer first aid, but Mr Han was not breathing and failed to regain consciousness.
Dr. Laura Kaplan, 27, a second-year resident at Beth Israel Medical Center, told how people were shouting and yelling when the tragedy happened but were running in the other direction.
She said she used her stethoscope and heard what she thought were heart sounds, but Mr Han never took a breath.
Another passenger reported seeing blood coming from Mr Han's mouth and said it had been impossible to give him CPR.
Terror: The NYPD guard the entrance to the subway in Times Square after a 58-year-old man was pushed on to the tracks by a stranger
Mr Han, who lived with his wife and daughter in Elmhurst, was taken to Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
His wife said she had argued with her husband, who had been drinking, before he left the house at around 11 am and headed into Manhattan.
She said she tried calling him several times in an attempt to calm him down but he did not pick up her calls.
One witness claimed Mr Han had been the aggressor and authorities reportedly found a bottle of vodka on his body afterward.
The attacker, who is described as black, 30 to 40 years old, about 5-foot-9, with short dreadlocks and wearing a white T-shirt, dark jacket, filthy jeans, black sneakers with a white stripe and a black beanie cap, collected his paper cup full of change before running out of the station’s 47th Street exit.
He is being hunted by police who were last night scouring surveillance video for signs of him.
Horror: Commuters watched aghast as a man fell onto the tracks at 49th Street and was then hit by a train
Fear: The commuter who died did not appear to know the man who pushed him into the path of an oncoming train
The fire department said that two people who witnessed the man's gruesome death had to be treated for trauma.
The station is located just off 7th Avenue in midtown and has four tracks and two platforms.
The train’s operator was taken from the station in a wheelchair, wearing an oxygen mask and was treated for shock.
A transit source said: 'He’s traumatized'.