Watch New Yorkers Struggle to Escape a Broken-Down Subway Train
The F train lost power, leaving the passenger trapped inside—without air conditioning.
A group of New York City subway riders were sentenced to live out one of every city dweller's worst nightmares on Monday evening, when an F train lost power and became stuck in a tunnel in the heart of lower Manhattan, leaving the passengers trapped without lights or air conditioning.
The subway broke down just before the Broadway-Lafayette station, located at the intersection of the city's SoHo, Greenwich Village, and East Village neighborhoods, at around 6:30pm Monday, according to local news station NY1.
But while the riders aboard the train may not have had power...they did their smartphones. And, apparently, enough cell phone reception to tweet their troubles from the bowels of New York.
After roughly 45 minutes trapped in the the sweltering darkness, a second subway train came up behind the stalled one and nudged it forwards into the station. Once there, however, the riders aboard the broken-down F train were still stuck inside, freedom and fresh air kept away by the frozen automatic doors.
Passengers waiting on the platform outside the train documented the struggles of the people inside to claw their way out of the powerless subway, to no avail.
Trapped rider Michael Sciaraffo described the incident on Facebook, saying, "Once we pulled into the station, a mob of people had filled the platform waiting for our train, which left no room to get us off."
"We had to wait another 10 minutes, sweating, in the dark, before we could get off, while the people on the platform took pictures of us dripping sweat through the windows while we were trying to pry the doors open, as it was getting dangerously hot in the train car," he wrote.
Finally, the doors were pried open, and the trapped riders were free to flee the F train...at least, until the next day's commute.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority, or MTA, says it has taken the affected train out of service, and is investigating the incident, according to Gothamist.
New York's subway system has been dogged with delays and malfunctions in recent months; according to The New York Times, delays across the system have more than doubled in the last five years, rising from 28,000 per month in 2012 to around 70,000 per month this year. Much of the blame lies in a perfect storm of aging infrastructure, overcrowding, and underfunding. The MTA has announced a six-point crash program to attempt to identify and treat the most problematic issues causing breakdowns and delays on the city's Eighth Avenue Line, but without a long-term, system-wide plan to fix the deep, chronic rot in the system, such programs may amount to little more than, as the saying goes, lipstick on a pig.