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Subway service resumes after fire that knocked out third rail power, MTA says

A manhole explosion that set fire to an

A manhole explosion that set fire to an MTA substation in Manhattan caused service changes on several subway lines, fire and MTA officials said. Service has since resumed on all subway lines, the MTA said. Photo Credit: Samantha Wieder

Service has resumed with extensive delays on the D, E and F lines after a manhole explosion set fire to an MTA substation in Manhattan Sunday night, snarling service, according to the transit agency.

The incident occurred just before 10:15 p.m. Sunday at 126 W. 53rd St., according to an FDNY spokesman. About 1,000 people from at least three subway trains had to be evacuated overnight, police and fire officials said. The fire was brought under control around 1:37 a.m.

Although no injuries were reported during the evacuations, the fire caused several delays due to a loss of power to the third rail at Seventh Avenue, fire and MTA officials said. 

“The manhole fire severely damaged critical electrical components that provide power to several lines serving midtown Manhattan, including the D, E and F,” the MTA wrote in a Facebook post Monday morning. “Transit electrical crews worked throughout the night to re-route power around the damaged equipment in order to restore service this morning.”

Straphangers should continue to anticipate long wait times on the impacted lines. Service throughout the subway system is operating on a Sunday schedule following the Christmas holiday.

It is not immediately clear what caused the blast.



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