NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The journey home turned violent and chaotic for commuters on the No. 7 train in Queens Monday, and it was not clear whether service would be back to normal before the Tuesday morning rush.
The problems cropped up as the work week started off miserably for many across the Tri-State, as a mixture of snow and freezing rain made for a tough commute. Things did not get better as the night went on.
Service on subways, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North were operating on a regular weekday schedule. Problems were reported on both lines Monday night — the LIRR was completely suspended briefly due to fire activity at Penn Station, and a Metro-North train got stuck for two hours without power or heat Monday evening near Pelham.
But systemwide, 7 train riders fared the worst.
They were stranded for more than two hours after a Manhattan-bound No. 7 train lost power between stations near Queensboro Plaza around 9 a.m. Even in the late night hours, the line remained shut down between Times Square-42nd Street in Manhattan and 74th Street-Broadway in Queens due to ice on the third rail and running rails near Queensboro Plaza.
As the sun set on New York City Monday evening and well afterward, long lines of stranded commuters could still be seen standing in the cold and snow waiting or the shuttle bus at Queensboro Plaza.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, mobs of angry people were screaming, yelling, and even kicking the bus as they pushed and shoved their way onto overcrowded shuttle buses at Queensboro Plaza.
“I’ve never seen such mayhem,” one rider said.
Cold and frustrated commuters were at their wits end after waiting nearly two hours for buses, desperate to get home tonight.
According to the NYC Office of Emergency Management, the problems all started when someone dropped an umbrella on the third rail, causing the MTA to shut down service.
“Someone dropped an umbrella on the track, it hit the third rail and cut the service,” OEM Commissioner Joseph Esposito said.
When trains stopped running, icing resulted and caused major delays.
“It was horrible, I was standing the whole time, I have back pain so I was hurting the entire time,” stranded passenger Leo Golas, 30, told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria.
“Trains were sparking, I was a little scared to be honest,” said stranded passenger Candace Addison. “They just should’ve never had the trains running. They put people’s lives in danger.”Comments