A New York City subway train derailed Friday morning while passing through a Queens tunnel.
Involving six of the middle cars out of an eight-car Manhattan-bound ‘F’ line subway train, the incident reportedly left 19 of the 1,000 passengers injured. While four of the injuries were deemed serious enough to require hospital transport, there were no reports made of body trauma or life-threatening complications.
Officials confirmed that complaints namely concerned chest pains and shortness of breath – not surprising given such a jarring shock during a 10:30 a.m. commute just before the weekend.
“Nobody really knew whether or not the train was going to roll,” said Bryan Greene, a rider who was en route to his Union Square office. He added, “Everyone was waiting for that moment to come, and when it didn’t, it was a sigh of relief.”
Another passenger, Connie Wang, also recounted her experience: "I saw everyone jerk forward. My car went dark.” Wang too was present in a car at the train’s middle while heading from her Queens residence toward work in lower Manhattan.
"There were sparks flying,” she described.
A subway train derailment in New York leaves 19 injured, about 1,000 trapped underground for almost 2 hours pic.twitter.com/82zLHnpZax
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) May 3, 2014
After the accident, the evacuation efforts took up to two hours - during which many riders made light of their dark circumstance through interaction. A few made jokes about getting out of work for the day or walking through the subway track sludge to get out of the cars.
“I have a whole bunch of new friends,” Bryan Greene said,“We’re going to go hang out.”
While it has still not been confirmed why the derailment occurred, MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast has said the mass-transit agency will initiate a full inspection looking into signals, tracks, and any other factors that may have contributed to the accident. Another similar incident happened a year ago, but no injuries were reported to have happened. The last serious event with fatalities took place in 1991 - due to a drunk motorman, ultimately convicted of manslaughter.
Former Chicago Transit Authority executive director Robert “Buzz” Paaswell said the system overall is safe, and explained that, "Train derailments in stations… underground, are very, very rare. So it could be something happened to the track, something could have happened with the wheel — a wheel might have wobbled or come loose — or there could’ve been something on the track which caused something to hop over."
VIDEO: Passengers are evacuated after a New York City subway derails in Queens; no injuries have been reported: http://t.co/FaSNJD9Mxc
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 2, 2014
It’s always nice to see people like the passengers of Friday's event draw something positive - like a personal connection - out of something unfortunate.
Even the authorities praised the riders' composure during the rescue. But perhaps Deputy Assistant Chief James Leonard of the Fire Department said it all with his simple statement regarding a city of eclectic personalities who have united through far worse:
“They’re New Yorkers.”
Image via Youtube