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Toilet Trauma Ties Up Trains

A man trying to fish out his cell phone from a commuter train toilet got his arm stuck, forcing the train to stop and causing delays throughout the rail system.

Thousands of commuters were delayed and several trains were rerouted while rescue workers tried to pull him out, a Metro-North Railroad spokesman said Thursday.

Edwin Gallart, 41, of the Bronx, dropped his cell phone in the toilet of his train shortly after it left Grand Central Terminal during rush hour on Wednesday, Metro-North spokesman Dan Brucker said.

The train was held at a station after a passenger heard Gallart's cries for help.

When train workers failed to pry Gallart's arm free, police officers and firefighters were called in to use a blowtorch to break apart the stainless steel toilet.

Meantime, all 600 passengers aboard the train were put on other trains and all northbound trains had to be rerouted, causing significant delays and thousands of dollars in additional costs for Metro-North, which might seek damages from Gallart, Brucker said.

Gallart's home telephone number was unlisted and he couldn't be reached for comment.