NEW YORK - Panicked passengers stampeded in a New York subway station after an arcing cable set off flames and smoke.
The fire department says one person was taken to a hospital with minor injuries after the mayhem unfolded around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on the Upper West Side.
Attorney Eric Arnone was on the train and thought it was a terrorist attack. He told the Daily News that "It sounded like bombs going off in the tunnel."
Bryan Murphy tells the New York Post that he saw sparks and a "ball of fire." He says people started running, screaming and falling.
The Bronx teacher added in a Facebook post that he got caught in a cluster of people near the stairwell and couldn't move. He said he feared he would die.
A Twitter post described belongings scattered on the train platform as people fled.
An MTA spokesman said the cable's insulation failed and that caused sparks, smoke and popping sounds. They said there was no explosion and didn't report any panic.
I was on 96th street on the last cart of the uptown 2 train when everyone just started running off screaming. I honestly didn’t know why I was running but I ran. I turned around and it was a huge fire/explosion on the train track. The fire was coming towards the platform.— nattie (@missez_nattie) March 7, 2018
I was on the platform. Hundreds of people screaming, running for the stairs. I could smell smoke. So much confusion. Ran for my life and wasn't sure I was going to make it out safely. Glad you're okay.— Allison Levine (@LEVINEcommaA) March 7, 2018
I got stuck under human pile up!!! Scariest nightmare ever! Thought I was going to die!!— Cecilia Chanu (@ChanuCecilia) March 7, 2018
The discrepancy in stories between riders and the MTA is astounding.— Aaron W. Gordon (@A_W_Gordon) March 8, 2018
Riders: giant explosion at 96th St 1 train stop! A stampede! Most scared I've ever been!
MTA: There was a track fire. 20 minutes of delays. Service returned to normal soon afterwards. No explosion reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.