Subway passengers panic when cable sets off flames

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.