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Stalled Metro-North Train Left Riders Stuck With No AC

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A MetroNorth train A MetroNorth train (Professor Bop/flickr)

Metro-North officials planned to meet with emergency responders from Westport, Conn., after passengers got stuck on a stalled train there for nearly an hour last week in triple-digit heat.

Though no riders became seriously ill, Westport authorities said they received numerous 911 calls around 3 p.m. Friday from people who were on the New Haven line train without air conditioning.

"Don't you think it would have been a little better had we had 15 or 20 firefighters up there and local police officers and EMS people also bringing our resources in?" asked Deputy Fire Chief Jonathan Gottfried, who claimed the MTA did not ensure that his crew had access stuck passengers.

"I think the riders would have felt a heck of a lot better."

Train crews were focused on getting the train moving again, said Marjorie Anders, spokeswoman for the MTA. She said the power had to be shut off so that workers could untangle cable lines that had expanded in the excessive heat.

"When you turn the power off, the air conditioning goes off," Anders said. "It was a terrible situation, but not the end of the world."

She said the train crew opened the doors for ventilation and passengers received water.

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