New York City police detain a passenger of a disabled New Jersey Transit train, which was warlike, and led to a rush among the passengers to leave the crowded station when the train finally arrived in New York Penn Station, Friday, 14 April 2017.
NEW YORK – A train with about 1200 passengers became stuck in a tunnel between New York and New Jersey for nearly three hours on Friday, and the chaotic scene escalated to pandemonium when Amtrak police used a stun gun to topics of a disruptive man at a train station, sparking a stampede.
It was the latest in a series of recent rail problems in the metropolitan area.
The New Jersey Transit train became disabled in the Hudson River tunnel Friday at the end of the afternoon, when Amtrak was experiencing overhead power problems. A New Jersey Transit spokeswoman said that the train was finally in New York Penn Station in the early evening.
The crowded train station erupted in panic when Amtrak police a Taser to subdue a man who was causing a disturbance. New York police said that the use of the Taser led to false rumors of shots fired at the station. People screamed and ran, leaving the station littered with abandoned bags. The nearby famous department store, Macy’s was briefly closed. Sixteen people suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
Amtrak said Friday night the modest man, who is not a passenger of the disabled train, was in the police.
The loss of strength in the tunnel caused a delay of an hour or more on the Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. It happened three weeks after the derailment of an Amtrak train to Penn Station, and a week after a New Jersey Transit derailment shut down eight of the 21 tracks there are, and disrupted travel in the region for the day. No injuries reported in any of the incidents.
A passenger of Friday train, Mia Sanati, describes a scene of confusion.
Sanati said that she and her husband were on their way to the New York International Auto Show when they boarded the train in Secaucus, New Jersey, Secaucus Junction, the last New York-bound stop before Penn Station.
They said shortly after the train entered the tunnel under the Hudson River, she felt a lump on the side of the train and saw sparks.
“About 30 seconds later, the train just came to a complete stop,” Sanati said.
The power went out, except for emergency lighting, and so it is with air-conditioning, said Sanati, that video of the dark car.
“It was really hot really quickly, with so many people crammed together,” she said.
As riders waited, and plans changed — they were told that the train would be drawn, than that it should be evacuated — some tried to make light of the situation or scooted about in their chairs to make room for people who were standing there. But others were shaking, pacing, saying that she had to get out or worrying about walking through the tunnel, Sanati said.
After the electricity came back on and the train began to move, there were cheers, said Sanati, who lives in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and just finished a master’s degree program in mass communication.
The rush of passengers trying to leave New York faced mounting delays.
Adam Rosen, a chemical engineer is going to Hamilton, New Jersey, said: “They keep extending the delay of 45 minutes to 90 minutes, now for an indefinite period of time. This is the worst.”
New Jersey Transit executive director Steven Santoro said in a statement to the concerned riders, “we deeply apologize for your experience, and I would love to hear from you.”
NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said the railroad was working with Amtrak to determine the cause of the problem.