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Corpse Rides Subway For Hours

June 15, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ A passenger seemingly asleep aboard a packed rush-hour subway train was actually dead, possibly for as long as five hours, authorities said.

Police said the unidentified man, in his 40s, was on the uptown No. 1 train at least 20 stops Monday before passengers noticed he was unresponsive and alerted authorities.

His body was removed at the 96th Street station in Manhattan’s upper west side.

Subway regulars expressed little surprise at unwittingly sharing a busy train with a corpse. The man had been sitting upright, silent, with his eyes closed and head bowed.

``Do you know how many people sleep on the train during morning rush?″ rider Mario Licari said. ``Unless the guy slumps into me, I just leave him alone.″

The man carried no identification _ only 20 cents, a watch and a comb, police said. It was unknown where he boarded or how long the subway, which runs from Manhattan’s southern tip to the Bronx, had been in service Monday morning.

Based on a preliminary examination of the body, the man may have been dead up to five hours before being noticed, police said.

Police said he appeared to have died of natural causes. An autopsy was pending.