The New York City subway system has been hampered by aging infrastructure (leading to signal failures and power outages) and equipment, as well as surging numbers of riders for years, but the rush-hour delays have been especially ludicrous this summer. The MTA, the organization that runs the city’s transit system, has been trying to address some of the issues that are causing delays, but with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio constantly fighting about the subways, resolution seems a ways off. Something that could shake both men into action or even working together? A derailment that cripples one of the most-used lines.
A southbound A train struck a wall in a tunnel in Harlem around 9:45 this morning, causing two cars to jump off the tracks. According to MTA chairman Joe Lhota, this happened because the emergency brake was pulled, though he said it wasn’t clear yet why the brake was used. The derailment caused a fire and smoke to pour into the cars and the tunnel. There were 34 minor injuries, including smoke inhalation, according to the New York Times, and 17 were taken to nearby hospitals. All told, over 800 passengers were evacuated.
Multiple other trains were stopped and evacuated as a result of the derailment, with evacuations taking over an hour for some.
A number of lines are being re-routed or have had service stopped entirely, and the MTA is trying to accommodate displaced riders with shuttle buses.