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krulltime
August 11th, 2004, 07:32 PM
COMMUTER PANIC


http://www.nypost.com/photos/news0811200407.jpg
FRANTIC: Riders many fearing a terror attack leap from a PATH train yesterday after a trash fire filled the 14th Street station with smoke. Edward O'Connell

By CLEMENTE LISI

August 11, 2004 -- Dozens of alarmed PATH passengers went into a panic on a train yesterday after a track fire sent thick smoke into the air forcing riders to kick out windows in order to escape what they thought was a terrorist attack.

The chaos began when a small pile of garbage caught fire at around 2 p.m. in the station at 14th Street and Sixth Avenue, just as a train packed with riders approached the platform.

The trash continued to smolder as the New Jersey-bound train pulled into the underground station, a witnesses told The Post.

The motorman spotted the flames and hit the brake.

The seven-car train with three cars still in the tunnel behind it idled as the conductor got out of his cabin and tried to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher.

Anxious riders had no idea what was happening outside. Then the lights on the train went out and there were no announcements to guide them.

The stench of fire grew stronger and thick black clouds filled the station.

"People saw smoke and they thought the worst," said Edward O'Connell, 28, who was standing on the platform and who took these dramatic photos.

As smoke started to fill the train, riders grew increasingly terrified. When the doors remained closed for four minutes after the train had stopped, the passengers took matters into their own hands.

"People looked really scared," O'Connell said. "You could see the fear in their faces."

Desperate riders knocked out three windows in a car by the middle of the train. Scores of commuters poured out onto the platform, dashing for the exits.

"They were climbing out," O'Connell said. "I never saw anything like it."

As agitated passengers fled from the station, firefighters arrived and extinguished the fire.

The Port Authority, which operates the PATH system between New Jersey and Manhattan, said the train crew was correct not to open the doors and did nothing wrong.

"Part of the train was not in the station and it would have been unsafe to open the doors at that time," said PA spokesman Steve Coleman. "Procedure was followed."


Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

krulltime
August 11th, 2004, 07:43 PM
...idled as the conductor got out of his cabin and tried to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher.

Anxious riders had no idea what was happening outside. Then the lights on the train went out and there were no announcements to guide them.

Hey I would have been one of the ones knoking windows if I was there on the train. :? Why wasn't there an announcement from the conductor if he knew there was garbage fire? That is the problem not the fire.

NYatKNIGHT
August 12th, 2004, 10:42 AM
It's understandable why everyone's a little skittish. The way we get these terror alerts, we're all but resigned to another attack.

Ninjahedge
August 12th, 2004, 05:00 PM
They did not announce anything to anyone.

They should have. You don't park a train in a station filled with smoke and then don't tell anyone about it.

Nevermind terrorisim and all the warnings we have been getting, what if it was an actual fire. Hell, let me off at 14th street and I will walk the rest of the way!

LeCom
February 17th, 2007, 04:44 PM
Wow, the terrorists truly got their job done. Plenty of fear in people nowadays.

But then again, if there was smoke rolling across the train, I'd be kicking windows out myselin.