An MTA worker was killed and at least 16 others were injured after a fire broke out inside a subway car in Harlem early Friday morning. The fatal incident was preceded by two other blazes on nearby subway platforms, police said, suggesting the fire may have been set intentionally.
According to authorities, the second car of a northbound 2 train erupted in flames at around 3:18 a.m. A conductor reported the smoke and fire to 911, as transit workers helped passengers evacuate the subway at 110th Street.
When emergency personnel arrived, they found a train operator lying unresponsive in the trackbed. He was pronounced dead shortly after.
Additionally, police said that three men and one woman were rushed to the hospital in critical condition after suffering from smoke inhalation inside the subway car. Seven other civilians and five firefighters suffered minor injuries in the blaze.
The TWU Local 100 has identified the victim as 36-year-old Garrett Goble.
"For this to happen, after we lost two of our union brothers to the Coronavirus, is hard to comprehend," the union's president Tony Utano said in a statement. "Our Conductor acted heroically to move passengers to the platform out of danger, and deserves our deepest thanks and support for his bravery."
NYPD Deputy Chief Brian McGee said on Friday that police had discovered smaller fires at 86th Street and 96th Street subway platforms, as well as a street fire at 116th Street. It was "more than likely" that they were connected, he said.
The two-alarm fire brought 25 units and 106 firefighters to 110th Street overnight. Service on several trains was briefly suspended. As of 6:45 a.m., the FDNY was still working to "extinguish a fire at Central Park North," according to the MTA.
The fire caused "significant damage to the train and the [110th Street] station," according to Sarah Feinberg, the interim president of NYC Transit.
"This has already been a devastating week for New York City transit, and this is another horrific moment for our family," she added.
Police are handling the investigation.