Frantic Atlantic: Straphangers sent scrambling after ceiling collapse in Terminal

Umbrella weather: Transit workers dodge plaster particles as their colleague sweeps the ceiling at the Atlantic Terminal Subway Station following a cave-in on Friday morning.
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Talk about a train wreck.

Debris plummeted from above inside Atlantic Terminal station on Friday morning, forcing Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials to suspend 4- and 5-train service in both directions, and leaving irate straphangers scrambling to find alternative commutes.

“It’s ridiculous, we have billions of dollars for this, there should be no reason this is happening, and now I’m going to be late for my appointment today, so that’s a problem,” said Mariah Carrasquillo, who lives in Bushwick.

Transit employees manned all entrances to the platform following the ceiling collapse just after 8 am, according to an authority spokesman, barring riders’ entry as other workers collected fallen bits of plaster and swept the ceiling with a broom.

The agency restored 4- and 5-train service in the station roughly three hours later, and its inspectors are investigating what caused the bits to fall, the rep said.

“Out of an abundance of caution we are checking the entire station,” said Shams Tarek. “We thank our personnel for their quick response and our customers for their patience while we address this.”

The collapse at the hub on the border of Fort Greene and Prospect Heights — which followed two similar incidents at Downtown’s Borough Hall station this summer — had one recent arrival to the borough, who said the plummeting plaster would make him late for an acting job, second-guessing his decision to move to the city from faraway Florida.

“I’ve only been living in New York for a month and a half, and I thought it would be easier than this,” said Marcus Nieves. “It’s always one thing or another with the subways. I’m going to be late for my gig, I’m an actor, and they don’t tolerate lateness.”

And although the cave-in ruined countless morning commutes, it somehow failed to surprise most straphangers, according to a commuter, who called the collapse par for the course for the beleaguered transit system.

“It’s not surprising at all,” said Jon Litt, a Greenpoint resident who works in Crown Heights. “These tunnels are falling apart.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 8:42 am, September 24, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
"Debris kept falling on my face," a little metaphor from the title of the hit 70s song on the current state of Governor Crony, the state legislature and the MTA.
Sept. 22, 2018, 10:59 am
Historian from Fort Greene says:
MTA will experience more troubles as Brooklyn continues to "boom" build in real estate without upgrading infrastructure. The same type of event occurred in downtown Borough Hall Train Station. These stations are very old. Outside contractors are used to build the stations. They are not held accountable, so when things break MTA takes the fall. Perhaps the universe warning them about 80 Flatbush Avenue. The trains run through tunnels that have been operative since 1900 without upgrade. 118 years later, and expect nothing. Same goes for something stink going on due to sanitation issues along the Lafayette Avenue, Fulton Street intersection and two block corridor. At nights, sometimes during the day, there are awful smells of sanitation. The blocks were zoned for residential sanitation, I just wonder if those fool real estate developers are addressing the sanitation and waste coming from those building. Or as with this density decision, folk think the pipes will hold all of that waste without exploding?
Sept. 22, 2018, 10:49 pm
Historian from Fort Greene says:
Something smells in Fort Greene!
Sept. 22, 2018, 10:56 pm
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
(In line with what historian said) last I checked water tunnel number 3 is not yet operational for Brooklyn, yet numerous new residential buildings are being allowed. The city is flirting with disaster.
Sept. 23, 2018, 4:40 pm
Historian from Fort Greene says:
The BQE Project is about to totally "stop" Brooklyn! What a mess!
Sept. 28, 2018, 7:17 pm

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