Train stuck in tunnel 3 hours, then stun gun sparks stampede

NEW YORK (AP) — A train with about 1,200 passengers became stuck in a tunnel between New York and New Jersey for nearly three hours on Friday, and the chaotic scene escalated to pandemonium when Amtrak police used a stun gun to subdue a disruptive man in a station, sparking a stampede.

It was the latest in a series of recent rail problems plaguing the metropolitan area.

The New Jersey Transit train became disabled in the Hudson River tunnel late Friday afternoon, when Amtrak was experiencing overhead power problems. A New Jersey Transit spokeswoman said the train finally reached New York’s Penn Station in the early evening.

The overcrowded train station erupted in panic when Amtrak police used a Taser to subdue a man who was causing a disturbance. New York police said the use of the Taser led to false rumors of gunshots at the station. People screamed and ran, leaving the station strewn with abandoned bags. The nearby Macy’s department store was briefly locked down. Sixteen people suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Amtrak said Friday night the subdued man, who wasn’t a passenger from the disabled train, was in police custody.

The loss of power in the tunnel caused delays of an hour or more on Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. It happened three weeks after the derailment of an Amtrak train at Penn Station and a week after a New Jersey Transit derailment shut down eight of 21 tracks there and disrupted travel in the region for days. No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

One passenger from Friday’s train, Mia Sanati, described a scene of confusion.

Sanati said she and her husband were headed for the New York International Auto Show when they boarded the train in Secaucus, New Jersey, at Secaucus Junction, the last New York-bound stop before Penn Station.

She said shortly after the train entered the tunnel to go under the Hudson River, they felt a bump on the side of the train and saw sparks.

“About 30 seconds later, the train just came to a…

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