Tuesday, October 25

#4 Train Stops Suddenly Under East River

A reported 457 Brooklyn-bound commuters were trapped for nearly two hours on Monday night between the Bowling Green (Manhattan) and Borough Hall (Brooklyn) subway stations.  Passengers onboard the #4 train described what sounded like an explosion followed by a sudden halt of the fast moving train.
“I’ve never experienced anything like it,” said Jaime Verroccio, who has made the daily inter-borough commute since 2006. “I’m never surprised when something delays the train, but this! and underwater!”
The tunnel in which the train was stopped filled with smoke immediately following the explosion sound.  Train conductors attempted to keep passengers calm, using the intercom system as a means of communication.  Their voices, however, went unheard due to poor, static-like sound quality.  According to Verroccio, the messages being   communicated from the intercom speakers were “impossible to make out.” 
Some of the smoke entered the cars through the ventilation systems, which had turned off when the train stopped, and through the front and rear doors, which were being opened and closed continuously by uneasy passengers and MTA conductors. 
“…I don’t think it was the amount of smoke that worried people,” said Timothy Robbins, Verrocio’s boyfriend. “At least for me, it was the idea that I was in the middle of…a terrorist attack of sorts that scared me most.”
The MTA has, since, released minimal information regarding the incident.  Although the FDNY was called upon to investigate the scene beneath the East River, no official statement has been produced addressing the cause of the explosion sound and subsequent smoke. 
An MTA spokeswoman told The Village Voice: “Last night at approximately 9:24 p.m. a smoke condition occurred on a number 4 train, just south of the Bowling Green Station… The cause is still under investigation..”
The vagueness and lack of information angered not only passengers onboard the 4 train, but New Yorkers who find the subway system to be unreliable. 
“That’s one thing I don’t miss about New York,” said Alex Amini, former student (2011) at The New School.  “When I heard about this it reminded me of all those times in the train when I had to wait and had no idea what was going on because they wouldn’t tell us anything.”
After FDNY concluded their investigation, the train was removed from the tunnel and normal #4 service resumed at 11:18 p.m.


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