New York Gov. Kathy Hochul pledges to investigate subway system after 'unprecedented' 5-hour shutdown forced passengers to self-evacuate from tunnels

New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks in New York City on August 26, 2020 AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
New York Governor Kathy Hochul promised to investigate an "unprecedented disruption" to the New York City subway.

The signal and communications systems were offline after a brief outage at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Five trains became stuck in tunnels between stations and passengers were forced to evacuate.

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New York's new governor. Kathy Hochul promised to fix New York City's subway system following a short power outage that caused an "unprecedented shutdown" Sunday night into Monday morning.

Hochul stated Monday morning that there was a brief power cut at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, which temporarily shut down power to the subway. Gothamist reported that other residents experienced a ConEdison power cut at the same time.

Hochul stated Monday that it was a temporary outage, which did reach the backup system. The New York Post first reported Hochul's statement. "But when it tried back to normal, there were a surge – an unprecedented surge – that caused the subway to lose signalization and communication capability."

Gothamist reported that hundreds of people were evacuated from tunnels by the New York City Fire Department and Metropolitan Transit Agency. Apart from the proper evacuations, two trains carrying passengers left on their own. This is called a self-evacuation.

Eight lines of subway were affected by the issue: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7; regular subway service was restored around 1:30 a.m. on Monday. FDNY crews had searched the tunnels for passengers who took part in self-evacuations.

Hochul stated, "We never want riders to do this." It is dangerous and caused delays in the restoration of power.

According to Gothamist, the governor stated, "Let's be very clear. Last night was unacceptable." "If you are one of these riders, the system has failed you."

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Hochul, a Democrat was elected to office in August 24, following the resignation of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo quit in the wake a report by the state attorney general that revealed he had sexually harassed 11 women. Hochul, as governor, is responsible for overseeing the MTA which manages the New York City subway system.

Hochul stated, "We need to understand why the system failed and why," calling for an investigation.

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