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Police probe after New York subway driver killed in fire

Fires were reported at three other stations nearby at the same time.

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In this image released by the MTA New York City Transit, New York City firefighters assemble at a subway station in New York, Friday, March 27, 2020. Officials say a New York City subway driver was killed and several other people were injured early Friday in a train fire that is being investigated as a crime. (Marc A. Hermann/MTA New York City Transit via AP)

In this image released by the MTA New York City Transit, New York City firefighters assemble at a subway station in New York, Friday, March 27, 2020. Officials say a New York City subway driver was killed and several other people were injured early Friday in a train fire that is being investigated as a crime. (Marc A. Hermann/MTA New York City Transit via AP)

In this image released by the MTA New York City Transit, New York City firefighters assemble at a subway station in New York, Friday, March 27, 2020. Officials say a New York City subway driver was killed and several other people were injured early Friday in a train fire that is being investigated as a crime. (Marc A. Hermann/MTA New York City Transit via AP)

A New York City subway driver has been killed and several other people were injured in a fire on a train that is being investigated as a crime.

Fires were reported at three other stations nearby at the same time, police said.

“We are investigating it as a criminal matter,” Deputy Chief Brian McGee said, adding that no arrests have been made.

The fire killed a driver who was helping passengers to safety, officials said, and came the day after two other New York City Transit employees fell victim to coronavirus.

“As all of you know, this has already been a devastating week for New York City Transit,” said Sarah Feinberg, interim president of the agency that runs the city’s buses and subways. “And this is another horrific moment for our family.”

Subway Fire New York
(Marc A Hermann/MTA New York City Transit/AP)

A train had just pulled into the 110th Street station in Harlem, near Central Park, at around 3am on Friday when a transit worker saw smoke and fire in one of the cars, said Mr McGee.

The driver and another transit employee evacuated passengers from the train, Ms Feinberg said.

The driver was found on the tracks, Mr McGee said. The 36-year-old was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and pronounced dead.

Fires were also reported at around the same time at three nearby stations — 86th Street, 96th Street and 116th Street, Mr McGee said.

“The most important thing that I need is for witnesses to come forward,” he said, urging New Yorkers to call a police tip line.

Nine other people were injured, Ms Feinberg said.

The fire occurred a day after two New York City Transit employees died of Covid-19, according to their union.

Bus driver Oliver Cyrus, 61, and train conductor Peter Petrassi, 49, were killed by the virus on Thursday, the transport workers union said.

PA