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Little PATH fire burns a 90-minute hole in evening rush

Jersey Journal - January 17 2003


[1] NEW YORK -- A PATH tunnel fire Wednesday night that stranded thousands of commuters on both sides of the Hudson River was caused by an electrical malfunction, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the train system. Coleman said the fire, which started near the Christopher Street station in Manhattan during the Wednesday evening rush hour, "was caused by a third rail insulator, which shorted out."

Firefighters from New York went into the tunnel shortly after the fire was reported about 5:30 p.m. The blaze was extinguished without causing major damage, but all service into New York was suspended until about 7 p.m., Coleman said. It is unknown precisely how many people were affected, but Coleman said roughly 170,000 people ride the PATH each day, the vast majority of them during the morning and evening rush hours.

Service within New Jersey, between Newark, Jersey City and Hoboken, continued during the service suspension. At Pavonia-Newport, on the Jersey City waterfront, scores of people poured out of the PATH station and headed for the NY Waterway ferry terminal to wait for boats to take them to Midtown and Lower Manhattan.

Coleman said there were some minor delays when trains began running again just before 7 p.m. "It hit right when people were coming," he said of the incident. "There were some residual delays, but basically it started right back up."

[2] Man hurt seriously at Hoboken PATH Saturday, January 18, 2003

HOBOKEN - A man suffered a serious injury in the Hoboken PATH station last night when a train ran into the concrete and steel "bumping block" at the end of the track, officials At 6:36 p.m., the train, which was headed to 33rd Street station in New York City, plowed into the block, damaging the train and scattering debris from the train. One person standing on the platform was struck by debris, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Greg Trevor said. The man was treated at the scene and taken to the Jersey City Medical Center, said Trevor. Port Authority officials said they did not know why the train struck the block and that the incident is under investigations. Trevor said PATH service was not disrupted. Trevor said last night the Port Authority was receiving a number of reports that others who suffered minor injuries in the incident were turning up in area hospitals seeking treatment. - Michaelangelo Conte

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