New York City’s subway system is no stranger to disruption, but commuters at the 125th Street subway station in Manhattan were treated a dramatic and possibly life-threatening delay Tuesday morning after a train derailed at around 11 a.m.
Passengers on board reported smoke and loud bangs, and were apparently forced to evacuate in the train tunnels amidst growing panic. “[T]he most terrifying 15 minutes of my NYC life,” Twitter user @RokhlK posted following the crash. The FDNY reported three riders had suffered non life-threatening injuries.
The power outage that reportedly caused the derailment at 125th Street sent shockwaves through the rest of MTA: service between 59th Street and 125th on the B and C trains was suspended both ways, according to NBC News.
MTA chair Joe Lhota and Executive Director Veronique Hakim announced that they would head to 125th Street, where they will likely face questions about the response to the incident that left some passengers shaken. “They didn’t immediately let people off the train because they needed to “secure the train,'” tweeted The New York Times‘s Benjamin Williams. “One lady began having a panic attack, and most people had to use their shirts to not breathe in the smoke. Some people are crying.”
New York City’s subway delays have been especially widespread in 2017. Dozens of subway lines were delayed for hours after a power outage in Midtown was felt throughout the city. A month later, Brooklyn saw significant delays and reroutings caused by power failure.
Tuesday’s incident could become a political flashpoint for Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has repeatedly dodged criticism on the disrepair and dysfunction of New York City’s subway system, blaming the MTA instead. In February, the New York Daily News revealed a hidden $65 cut to the MTA in Cuomo’s budget, which eventually passed.