A rush hour F train commute turned into an urban nightmare last night when mechanical issues left Brooklyn-bound passengers trapped in the dark without air conditioning for over 40 minutes. In one video taken from the platform at Broadway-Lafayette, straphangers can be seen attempting to free themselves from a steamy car. If you are even mildly claustrophobic and rely on public transit, maybe skip this one.

Michael Sciaraffo, a 36-year-old city employee from Bensonhurst, said he got onto the doomed F train at West 4th Street shortly after 6:00 p.m. He immediately noticed that the car was unusually hot, but decided to risk it, figuring the rush hour crowd would filter out in Park Slope. What ensued, the native New Yorker said, was the most extreme commute he's ever experienced. The train ground to a halt in the tunnel, and the lights flickered for several minutes before the subway car was plunged into darkness.

"It was so hot that once we got stuck and the lights went out, it started to feel like a steam box," Sciaraffo told Gothamist late Moday night. "We might as well have been left for dead. God forbid someone had a heart attack, or there was a pregnant woman. We would have had no way out, no way to communicate."

"People started jamming books and umbrellas to get the doors and windows open," he added. "To get the sweet relief of the passing trains."

According to passenger David Taylor, the lights and air conditioning cut out about 10 minutes after the train broke down, at which point the conductor was still informing passengers that they were delayed due to train traffic. Eventually, Taylor said, transit workers entered the train and announced a "severe" mechanical issue.

By then, Sciaraffo said, people had started stripping off their clothing for relief. "A woman was getting undressed," he recalled. "Some guys were taking off their T-shirts, and then I saw women taking their shirts off. They had their bras on."

According to Sciaraffo, another train eventually pushed theirs into the station. The platform was packed with waiting passengers, so the doors remained closed for another ten minutes while MTA staff evacuated the platform. "People were clawing at the windows trying to breathe the air," he said. "And people were taking pictures and videos of us from the platform."

"There was no air," Samantha Mushnick, an account manager with Muuto, told Gothamist. "When you breathed it was dense. People were sweating everywhere and sitting on the floor. It was so hot the windows fogged up." Mushnick said she was also spent her morning commute stuck on an F train, which had earlier been plagued by signal problems.

Passengers on other cars reported similar acts of heat-induced desperation. "People tried to pry open the passenger doors just to get any sort of air circulation," said Hilary Saunders, a Senior Assistant Music Editor at Paste Magazine. "There was active teamwork in opening windows and checking the end doors for openings. People in this car were remarkably supportive of one another."

An MTA spokesperson confirmed that an F train was stuck between West 4th Street and Broadway-Lafayette station from 6:20 to 7:01 due to mechanical issues. The representative could not elaborate on the cause or extent of those issues on Monday night, but said the train has been taken out of service. As of Monday morning, the MTA says the incident is under investigation.

Monday's hellish commute was the latest in a string of rushhour subway malfunctions, many of which have led to a cascade of delays throughout the system. The MTA acknowledged the dire situation last month, announcing a six-point emergency plan to address the root causes of delays.

"I'm starting to realize that this moment is the tipping point," Sciaraffo surmised. "The whole system needs to be revamped, reimagined, and refocused."

If you found this commute frustrating, tell your state representatives and Governor Cuomo to stop robbing the MTA of badly needed funding and figure out a way to come up with more cash for a 21st Century transit system.