While elevators should be available at every subway station in New York City, there are three stations that are only accessible by elevator, including the Clark Street station in Brooklyn. To get from the street to the platform, and vice versa, you need to take one of the three often over-crowded and hot elevators. Choosing one often feels like Russian Roulette—which will break today? Well, today it was the one on the right.

Just before 10 a.m. on Monday morning, Talia Kovacs tweeted that she and twelve others, including some elderly passengers, had been stuck on the elevator for five minutes. "What do we do here? No door. Can’t get out. It’s hot. Everyone is sweating," she tweeted at the MTA.

Had this happened just an hour earlier, there would have been many more people in that elevator, making the situation even more claustrophobic and nightmarish. The elevators are large, but often overcrowded, and almost always stifling hot with very little air circulation. The doors sometimes get stuck in a slightly opened position, and the elevators themselves tend to shimmy when approaching the lower or upper level. They are often breaking or taken out of service. Taking them can be pretty terrifying, but they are the only option at this station as the stairs are not open to the public.

Kovacs explained this morning's scene to us, noting, "People from all walks of life were stuck together because as New Yorkers, we all rely on the subway. Folks tried to communicate with each other using Google Translate." She kept tweeting updates, and the MTA tweeted one response saying, "We know this is a stressful situation. Please know, station personnel are aware and working to get you out ASAP." Still, it took almost one hour to get them out, and before that happened, debris started falling on the elevator.

"It was about seven minutes of just crashes above us," Kovacs recalled. "No debris actually fell into the elevator but lots of loud crash-bangs, and what sounded like debris falling on us. Many men and women were crying and scared." Since no one had updated them as to what was going on, the passengers in the elevator had no idea what the noises were when they began. It turned out it was the FDNY gaining access.

"Fifty minutes after we initially called for help, FDNY came and had us climb up two ladders and then many flights of stairs to get out," Kovacs told us. "We were in the elevator for 50 minutes with no answers, and another 20 [minutes] to get everyone up ladders and up the stairs."

The FDNY told us the call came in around 10:08 a.m., and they were on the scene by 10:11 a.m., but had no further information. However, this confirms it took about one full hour to get everyone out of there.

We've reached out to the MTA for more information on this incident, and when the elevators will be given a real fix. We'll update when we hear back.

In August, the elevators were taken out of service after at least one broke. At the time, the MTA's Jon Weinstein told Gothamist, "One elevator is out for planned repair. One broke unexpectedly. The other works but because of crowding concerns Transit bypasses the station during the evening rush hour from 4-8. Trains have been stopping at all other times. These elevators were built in 1919, and are all scheduled to be replaced as part of this Capital Plan." When asked for more details on the plan, and a timeline for the elevators being fixed, Weinstein did not respond.

In 2014, after another incident that left two of the elevators out of service, the MTA's Kevin Ortiz told Gothamist, "Clark Street is a deep station and the stairs are emergency exits only. They are not meant for everyday use. Not to mention, if you are getting off at Clark Street, would you rather climb 10 flights of stairs or ride to Borough Hall and walk back a few blocks?" Yeah, we'd rather not get stuck in a hot elevator for an hour with no communication from the MTA.