An MTA worker was badly burned by the third rail yesterday, temporarily shutting down service on the 1/2/3. The incident happened just after 8 p.m. Wednesday, as the signal mechanic was working near the W. 72nd Street station. “There was a spark, kind of like a firecracker,” straphanger Stephen Wolf, who saw the sparks while on a northbound train, told the Daily News. “Then there was a bigger set of sparks, then a bang near the door—a couple people jumped pretty high.”
The worker was rushed to New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, and treated for second and third-degree burns; police said his injuries were serious, but not life threatening. All 1/2/3 train service was temporarily suspended between 42nd and 96th Streets—service was finally restarted around 9:30 p.m. NY Times reporters Mike Grynbaum pointed out that since Fastrack work was happening on the A/C/E, the accident exposed a hole in the service coverage plan:
MTA's "Fastrack" = entire West Side of Manhattan without subways this evening. No real contingency if 1/2/3 has problems, like tonight.
— Mike Grynbaum (@grynbaum) July 12, 2012