N.Y. subway evacuated after fire, small explosions

Posted on March 1, 2004

New York’s busy subway system experienced a sudden halt Sunday night after a man identified as 47-year-old Bonergy Quelal set off a series of electrical fires and small explosions by throwing debris on an electrified rail.

Quelal, who officials termed emotionally disturbed, was arrested after he emerged from the tunnel covered in soot. According to the New York Times, detectives were seen taking a metal rod off the tracks at the scene of the incident.

More than 1,000 passengers were evacuated from trains stuck in the Greenwich Village tunnel, and five were treated for smoke inhalation, fire officials told the New York Daily News.

“It was scary, “ said Lola Braverman of Staten Island, who was evacuated. “The explosions were really loud.”

The vandalism not only shut down parts of the A, C, D, E and F lines for several hours, but also caused damage to a 5-foot section of track, which had to be replaced in time for the morning rush.

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