Garbage on the tracks caught fire near 145th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue around 7:30 a.m. completely halting service on the entire B and C lines, and stopping A and D trains in both directions north of 125th Street.
Photos and video on social media showed platforms packed with crowds, and riders evacuating trains that were stuck between stations.
“There was a fire in the train station. We all had to be evacuated,” one rider said.
“They stopped the trains going both uptown and downtown and evacuating passengers here,” another rider said.
Some passengers said their train got very hot after it came to a halt and the lights and air conditioning went out.
A D train was stuck in the smokey tunnel for more than an hour between 145th and 135th streets.
“We’re sitting there for over an hour. The smoke started coming inside the train,” rider Dolores Hull said. “Some of us started kicking and banging to kick out the window so we could get air.”
Rider Gwen Hedrington said a woman next to her collapsed from heat exhaustion.
“And I felt as if I was gonna pass out,” Hedrington said.
Passengers were ultimately escorted out by train personnel onto the platform.
Photo credit: marisa santana @MarisaCarullo