What to Know
- An arcing cable set off flames and smoke in a Manhattan subway station, sparking a frantic straphanger stampede
- One person was taken to a hospital with minor injuries after the mayhem unfolded around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday
- MTA spokesman Shams Tarek says the cable's insulation failed and that caused sparks, smoke and popping sounds
Panicked passengers stampeded in a Manhattan subway station after an arcing cable set off flames and smoke as the peak afternoon rush got underway Wednesday.
The FDNY says one person was taken to a hospital with minor injuries after the mayhem unfolded around 4:30 p.m. on the Upper West Side.
Bryan Murphy tells the New York Post that he saw sparks and a "ball of fire." He says people started running, screaming and falling.
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The Bronx teacher added in a Facebook post that he got caught in a cluster of people near the stairwell and couldn't move. He said he feared he would die.
A Twitter post described belongings scattered on the train platform as people fled. Another user recounted the abject chaos.
"I was on 96th street on the last cart of the uptown 2 train when everyone just started running off screaming," wrote @missez_nattie. "I honestly didn’t know why I was running but I ran. I turned around and it was a huge fire/explosion on the train track. The fire was coming towards the platform."
MTA spokesman Shams Tarek says the cable's insulation failed and that caused sparks, smoke and popping sounds.