The scene at the typically bustling Franklin Avenue IRT (2,3,4,5 trains) stop this morning was one that raises the hair on the back of any New Yorker's neck: caution tape, police vehicles (including Shomrim - this is Crown Heights, after all) , well-dressed reporters talking rapidly into cameras with serious expressions. The throng of commuters milling around murmured with concern, sharing information gleaned from the eyewitness accounts being snapped up by the television stations. The station was closed sometime between 9:00 and 9:30 AM for what the MTA termed initially a "sick passenger" (one of their catch-alls for any sort of individual interference with the subway).
According to an eyewitness I spoke with, a man moved to jump in front of an oncoming 4 train on the crowded platform, and another man reached to keep him from falling in front of the train. Unfortunately, the first man's momentum was too great, and both he and the man trying to save him fell onto the tracks and were hit by the train. The eyewitness was clearly a little shaken, and said repeatedly "It just smells horrible down there--like burning."
His story was repeated by a few other eyewitness that I heard speaking to reporters. However, one reporter I spoke with mentioned that police at the scene said only one individual had been struck by the train. The incident stopped 4-5 express service completely along the IRT lines, and drastically slowed 2-3 service to Manhattan (I walked up to the Eastern Parkway stop and boarded a 2 train which sat in tunnels and took about 30 minutes to reach Atlantic Avenue).
As of 10 AM, the MTA was making announcements recommending that commuters take other trains to Manhattan in the Atlantic Avenue - Pacific Street (and soon to be Barclays) station.