KEY POINTS

  • A subway fire erupted around 3:20 a.m. inside a train car near a Harlem station in New York City's Manhattan borough
  • More than 100 firefighters responded to the fire and reportedly battled "challenging high-heat conditions" inside the subway station
  • An MTA worker was declared dead after being rushed to a nearby hospital. At least 16 were injured 

One person was killed and at least 16 were injured after a fire erupted Friday in an underground New York City subway station in Harlem. The fire reportedly erupted around 3:20 a.m. inside a train car stopped at the 110th Street Central Park North station in Manhattan.

NYFD Deputy Assistant Chief Fred Schaaf said more than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze, the source of which has not been identified. Schaaf said there was a “heavy fire” in at least one car and created “challenging high-heat conditions.” 

“It's in the subway station so there's no ventilation or limited ventilation. Besides that, you have to get the hose lines down through turnstiles which are also secured and everything,” an FDNY spokesperson said. “It made it a difficult operation but that's what we do. We overcome and we put it out.”

Witnesses took pictures and videos from the scene that showed smoke billowing up from the station and the swarm of firefighters working to secure the station.

Schaaf said 17 people were harmed as a result of the fire that had to be rushed to surrounding hospitals already struggling to keep up with COVID-19 cases. A 36-year-old MTA worker, whose name hasn’t been released, was declared dead shortly after arriving at Mount Sinai Hospital.

At least three people were rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital reportedly suffering from serious to life-threatening injuries from the fire. Eleven other people, including firefighters, reportedly suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene or nearby hospitals.

Following the fire, the MTA said train service along the affected subway line was suspended and unaffected trains were diverted.

An empty New York Subway car is seen on March 23, 2020 in New York City An empty New York Subway car is seen on March 23, 2020 in New York City Photo: AFP / Angela Weiss