Water Damage Creates Subway Ceiling Collapse In Harlem

A section of plaster ceiling in a Harlem subway station collapsed Wednesday night, prompting the MTA to fully inspect the station to ensure riders’ safety.

What the MTA is calling a “small section” of the ceiling came crashing down to the floor near the MetroCard machines at the West 135th Street and Lenox Avenue 2 and 3 train station around 10:20 p.m., an MTA spokesman said. The collapse prompted an immediate investigation of the ceiling in which MTA workers removed additional plaster and secured the ceiling.

New York City Transit President Andy Byford visited the station Thursday morning to speak with station personnel.

Water damage is to blame for the collapse, but MTA officials have not yet determined the source of the water, an MTA spokesman said. The transit authority is working with the city Department of Environmental Protection to investigate the source of the water.

The ceiling will be re-plastered when officials can determine the source of the water damage, an MTA spokesman said. The station has been deemed safe for passengers and officials do not believe any other ceiling portions in the station are at risk of collapse.

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“We’re taking this incident very seriously,” MTA spokesman Shams Tarek said in a statement. “It appears that water penetration softened some plaster and caused it to fall, and the source of the water is under investigation. We have secured the area and deemed the rest of the station safe.”

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