As Door Rips Off ‘A’ Train Three Injured In Harlem Derailment

Gothamist reports that straphangers said a southbound A train crashed into a subway wall between 135th and 125th Streets in Manhattan on Tuesday morning. According to one witness the train plunged into darkness shortly before 10:00 a.m. and a door on the right side of one car ‘ripped’ open. [See below for updates; the MTA has confirmed a derailment at 125th Street.]

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“We were between 135th and 125th and… the train started shaking insanely violently, the lights started flickering,” said Skip Suva, 28. “I was leaning against the left door, on the left side of the train, and the right door was ripped open. I don’t think anyone was hurt.”

“It was really dark, tons of smoke and dust, and white chunky things,” he added. “There was a lot of distortion on the floor. The metal was pushed in, and either the door was jammed… or it was totally pulled off, like, opened like a book.”

Other witnesses posted images of what appeared to be a broken subway car door.

Suva and his fellow straphangers stood in the dark train for 15 minutes, he said. He was in the third car from the rear, which he said was locked off from adjacent cars. “They had a lock between the doors and we were unable to move forward.

An FDNY spokesperson said there have been reports of smoke and a possible derailment. There was a report of smoke at 125th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, he added. Three minor injuries were confirmed.

An MTA spokesperson confirmed only that there had been a power outage, and did not elaborate further.

“They didn’t let anybody off (except 1 car) until smoke came…” tweeted Benjamin Williams. “One lady began having a panic attack, and most people had to use their shirts to not breathe in the smoke. Some people are crying.”

This story is developing, stay tuned for updates.

[Update 10:45 a.m.]: “I will vouch for reports that the train left the rails,” said Mary Hodges, who was on the A train. “No doubt. We were in the air. I’m pretty sure we scraped the sides of the tunnel wall. But I couldn’t swear it.”

“We were going fast and all of a sudden I felt this big bump, like it went up in the air and rocked side to side in the air, off the tracks,” said Carrie Courogen, of Washington Heights. “I flew up off my seat and onto the ground. It came to a screeching halt. We saw sparks. It smelled so bad, like burnt rubber.”

“A couple of people tried to open windows or doors to get out. We were just sitting there and no one tried to tell us over the intercom,” she added. “We had no idea what was going on. Finally after ten minutes the conductor gets on and she’s like, ‘We have a derailment, we’re coming through the cars.’ It was very terse.”

[Update 10:55 a.m.]: The MTA has confirmed a derailment at 125th Street. There are no major injuries, according to the authority.

The MTA says there is currently no A train service between Jay St-MetroTech and Inwood-207 St in both directions. The B train is suspended between Brighton Beach and 145 St in both directions. The C is suspended between Euclid Av and 168 St in both directions. There is no D service between 42 St-Bryant Park and 161 St-Yankee Stadium in both directions. And there is shuttle D service between 161 St-Yankee Stadium and Inwood-205 St in both directions. Check MTA.info and the NYC Transit twitter feed for updates.

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