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Metro-North: Regular Service Expected Thursday With Minor Delays Possible

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Metro-North said it will run regular service Thursday morning with the possibility of minor delays following an explosion in East Harlem that leveled two five-story buildings, and caused railroad disruptions heading into the Wednesday evening rush hour.

Metro-North Railroad said delays on Thursday would be due to speed restrictions near explosion area, CBS 2 reported.

Full Metro-North Railroad service in and out of Grand Central Terminal resumed around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, about seven hours after service was disrupted.

At least three people were killed and dozens of others injured in the apparent gas explosion at Park Avenue and 116th Street. Nine people remain unaccounted for, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.

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Metro-North engineers determined there was no structural damage to the Park Avenue elevated structure. All four tracks were restored to service after being cleared of debris, inspected for track and third-rail integrity and approved for operations by Metro-North and the FDNY, according to the railroad.

Several lines experienced residual delays Wednesday evening, and trains were under orders to travel at a slower rate of speed than normal through the impacted stretch to limit vibrations at the collapse site, Metro-North said.

Before service in and out of Grand Central was restored, trains were going no farther south than stations in the Bronx. As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, New Haven and Harlem line riders caught their trains in Woodhaven, while Hudson line passengers headed up to Yankee Stadium.

At Woodhaven, crowds of afternoon commuters slowly moved from the 233rd Street subway station to the Metro-North platfrom.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, the reroutes made for mass-frustration among commuters.

“We finally get to New Rochelle, and they said that we have to wait for three trains to get to New Rochelle, so we are kind of stuck at this point,” one rider said.

Commuters had to trek up to the Bronx in the subway to get their trains home.

“It’s terrible,” a passenger said. “the only other thing that could have happened was to have some snow.”

“It took us about an hour and a half to get to here,” said Mark DeSantos, who was headed to Port Chester.

“We got tossed out of Grand Central, told to take the subway and here we are. My wife left an hour ago and she grabbed the train and beat me home,” commuter and Chappaqua resident David Rider said.

A crowded Grand Central Terminal in the aftermath of disrupted Metro-North service, March 12, 2014. (credit: MTA)

A crowded Grand Central Terminal in the aftermath of disrupted Metro-North service, March 12, 2014. (credit: MTA)

Considering the cause of all the havoc, many were counting their blessings.

“People died,” said Rusty Trible, of Chappaqua. “Have to look at the big picture.”

“I think that experiences like this bring out the best of New Yorkers because, truthfully, I have no idea where I am right now, and a lot of people were helping each other,” said Shira Adler, of Katonah. “And I helped an elderly gentleman get where he needed to be. And it just brings you together in a really weird way.”

Subway service was not impacted by the explosion and collapse.

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