Passenger from disabled NJ Transit train sparks stampede at Penn Station

Brittany BishopApr 27, 2017

NY police said the use of the Taser led to false rumours of gunshots at the station, and people screamed and ran, leaving the station strewn with abandoned bags.

Mass panic unfolded in and around New York's Penn Station after commuters confused the sound of a Taser being discharged with gunshots, local media report.

In reality, the "shots" that caused the horrifying scene at Penn Station turned out to be the sound of a Taser going off. As people returned to the main concourse, bags, shoes, hats and other belongings were subsequently scattered throughout the platform. The New Jersey Transit train with about 1,200 passengers aboard was stuck in a Hudson River tunnel between NY and New Jersey for almost three hours. Trains to/from New York Penn Station will be single tracking through the north tube.

What should have been a simple, contained situation spread throughout the station and even across the street to the nearby Macy's in Herald Square, where people flooded exits because of the rumored gunshots.

The derailment of a NJ Transit train in Penn Station on April 3 impacted as many as 467 Long Island Rail Road trains and 703 NJ Transit trains, as per estimates from the railroad companies. A New Jersey Transit train with about 1,200 passengers aboard was stuck in a Hudson River tunnel between NY and New Jersey. Riders were seeing delays of about two hours due to the disabled train.

The false reports Friday night sent people pushing past one another to escape the underground station.

Amtrak, which serves Penn Station, said the person tased is in police custody. "But at the same time we now have to correct for the anxiety and the apprehension because people can get hurt by just the panic and the overreaction".

The governor likened the Penn Station mayhem to the mass panic at Kennedy Airport following an erroneous report of shots fired on August 14. As I walked away I could feel footsteps coming up behind me and when I glanced back, it was that very same man. The trains were delayed 90 minutes just before the Easter weekend.

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