Fire halts train service at New York's Grand Central Terminal

Reuters News
Posted: May 17, 2016 8:11 PM

By David Gregorio

NEW YORK CITY (Reuters) - Commuter rail service in and out of New York City's Grand Central Terminal was suspended during the evening rush hour on Tuesday due to a fire under a section of elevated tracks, officials said.

The New York Fire Department said the fire was reported at 6:42 p.m. local time (2242 GMT) and had grown to a 4-alarm blaze after spreading to multiple construction trailers and debris in Manhattan's East Harlem neighborhood.

No injuries have been reported, the department said. While much of the fire had been doused, there was no way to tell when it would be completely put out, it added.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Metro-North Railroad said on Twitter that smoky conditions prompted the suspension of traffic in and out of Grand Central Terminal. The agency was providing alternative routes to commuters.

The delays left hundreds of disgruntled commuters milling about in the terminal.

Metro-North spokeswoman Meredith Daniels said in a phone interview that structural engineers were checking the tracks for damage. She said the assessment would likely be completed before Wednesday's morning rush, and service may need to be suspended longer if there is serious damage.

Images of the fire published by local media outlets and posted in social media showed bright flames directly under the tracks and dense plumes of black smoke reaching into the sky.

(Reporting by David Gregorio in New York City; Writing and additional reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Tom Brown and Richard Chang)