By Ben Fractenberg and Julie Shapiro
EAST HARLEM — One man was fatally struck by a train and another was seriously hurt in unrelated incidents just minutes apart at the East 125th Street 4/5/6 station Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
The man who was killed was riding between cars on an uptown 6 train when he fell off and landed on the tracks at the station, at Lexington Avenue and East 125th Street, just after 4:30 p.m., said Paul Browne, the NYPD's chief spokesman.
The victim, 31, was struck by the 6 train as it was leaving the station, Browne said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, the MTA and FDNY said.
Witnesses said they saw the man defecating between the train cars shortly before he fell to his death, Browne said.
About 20 minutes earlier, also on the uptown side of the station, a 50-year-old homeless man who was "bleeding profusely" climbed up from the northbound 5 train tracks onto the platform, Browne said.
The man, who went by "Frenchie," could not remember how he had gotten onto the tracks or whether he'd been hit by a train, police said.
He had a broken pelvis, a deep gash on his left buttocks and a cut on his leg, Browne said. He was taken to Harlem Hospital Center in serious but stable condition, the FDNY said.
Police were investigating the incidents, but Browne said they were not connected.
KC Ruiz, 38, a Brooklyn resident, was on the upper level of the station Tuesday afternoon when he heard people shouting down below.
"Somebody was screaming, 'Oh my god, somebody got run over by the train,'" Ruiz said.
Ruiz, who frequently spends time in the station talking to Frenchie, said he was shocked to hear his friend had been hurt.
"We was just hanging out together earlier today," Ruiz said. "It's a sad day."
On Tuesday evening, northbound 6 service was stopping at East 86th Street, the MTA said. Northbound 4 and 5 trains were bypassing the 125th Street station. Some northbound 5 trains were running over the 2 line from Nevins Street to 149th Street-Grand Concourse, the MTA said.
Southbound 6 trains were terminating at Third Avenue-138th Street. Southbound 4 and 5 trains were running on the local track from 125th Street to Canal Street.
Confused passengers who said they had been stuck on trains near 125th Street for nearly an hour flooded out of the station early Tuesday evening.
"I was scared," said Angel Torres, 17, who waited on an unmoving uptown 5 train for 45 minutes before being allowed to exit into the 125th Street station.
The MTA advised straphangers to expect delays on the 4, 5 and 6 lines.