Huffpost New York

R. Umar Abbasi Defends Photo Of Ki-Suck Han Train Death, Says He Was Too Far Away To Rescue Man (GRAPHIC PHOTO)

Posted: Updated:

The freelance photographer behind the shocking image of a man moments before he's fatally struck by a New York City subway train, responded to outrage over the photo Wednesday.

The New York Post featured the photo, taken by R. Umar Abbasi, on its front page Tuesday, showing 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han trying to hoist himself up onto the subway platform, as a Q train barrels into the 49th Street station.

A homeless man by the name of Naeem Davis was charged Wednesday with Han's murder after he allegedly confessed to pushing Han onto the tracks.

From the Associated Press:

Abbasi told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday that he was trying to alert the motorman to what was going on by flashing his camera.

He said he was shocked that people nearer to the victim didn't try to help in the 22 seconds before the train struck.

"It took me a second to figure out what was happening ... I saw the lights in the distance. My mind was to alert the train," Abbasi said.

"The people who were standing close to him ... they could have moved and grabbed him and pulled him up. No one made an effort," he added.

Trains generally arrive at the stations going 25 mph, but it's not clear how fast the train was going when it struck Han. The waiting area is a narrower than other subway stations, but the platform is still about a dozen feet wide.

In a written account Abbasi gave the Post, he said a crowd took videos and snapped photos on their cellphones after Han was pulled, limp, onto the platform. He said he shoved them back as a doctor and another man tried to resuscitate the victim, but it was no use. The man died in front of Abbasi's eyes.

Correction: A previous version of this article used an incorrect spelling of the victim's name.

Around the Web

Anguished fotog: Critics are unfair to condemn me - New York Post

NY Post subway death photo of Ki Suk Han: Why R. Umar Abbasi's ...

Suspect confesses in pushing death of Queens dad in Times Square subway ...

Peers Rip New York Post Snuff Cover, But Not The Photog Who Shot It

Suspect in Fatal NYC Subway Push Implicates Self

After Fatal Subway Shove, Asking: Were There No Heroes?