Commuters on a packed New York City subway train got a rather terrifying interruption to their ride when a 10-inch-wide drill bit emerged from the ceiling and struck their train, narrowly avoiding passengers, WNYW is reporting.
According to CBS New York, the subway train had just left a station in Long Island City, Queens at 11:45 A.M. when the drill bit emerged. Passenger Trinidad Casas said the drill be was inches away from being deadly.
“That could have killed somebody. That could have hurt somebody.”
According to New York’s Metro Transit Authority (MTA), which oversees the subway system, the drill bit hit the subway car’s steel frame and shattered its windows, The New York Post reports. Still, even though the drill bit hit the outside of the subway car and not the inside, passenger Anthony Jerez was still terrified.
“I don’t even know how that’s possible, so yeah, that’s pretty scary.”
A rescue train pulled up behind the damaged train, allowing the passengers safe passage back to the platform while the drill bit situation could be assessed.
As for what happened, MTA says that a contractor working on a project above the subway line missed his or her mark and pierced the subway tunnel, hitting the train that was carrying some 800 passengers. An anonymous source told The New York Post that contractor Griffin Dewatering New England Inc. is to blame for the almost-fatal drill bit accident.
“Somebody made a mistake; maybe a surveyor or a field engineer. They drilled into the street but didn’t realize they were right over the F train tunnel. They weren’t supposed to be in that spot.”
Passenger Stephanie Cruz said that she’s come to expect random accidents and mishaps on the subway.
“I wasn’t worried, I just assumed it was normal MTA crap. Something’s always breaking, you’re underground so you’re pretty much secluded from knowing if there is any real danger.”
When shown photos of the drill bit narrowly missing passengers, she was a little more alarmed.
“I’m like holy s–t.It’s hard to believe that happened…How could someone screw up that bad?”
Fortunately, there were no injuries, and service on that particular line was restored a few hours after the drill bit mishap. The contractor has covered the errant hole with a steel plate.
As of this post, calls to the contractor responsible for the mishap have not been returned. The MTA has said it will conduct an investigation into the drill bit mishap.
[Image courtesy of: New York Post]