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CBS2 Exclusive: Man Catches Video Of MTA Worker Caught In Blast On Subway Track

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Another video has surfaced showing the hazards of debris being placed into the subway tracks.

As CBS2's Dave Carlin reported, the incident was caught on camera by Tyrone Garcia on his cell phone camera. Carlin talked exclusively with Garcia on Monday.

The incident took place Sunday morning on the No. 6 Line at the Cypress Avenue subway station, in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx.

A worker climbed down into the tracks to remove a garbage can that had landed in the track, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

Video shows the worker using a stick to attempt to dislodge the can.

After striking it, the can made contact with the shoe that connects to the third rail, setting off an explosion of sparks that engulfed the worker, according to the MTA.

The worker was not injured, the MTA said.

"I was screaming; I was like, 'Are you okay?'" Garcia said. "He was, like, 'I'm fine, I'm fine.'"

Garcia explained that he was heading to work when he felt a bump and a sudden stop at the Cypress Avenue station in the Bronx.

He was in the first car and stepped out.

"I sat down on the bench, and as I sat down, we saw a few pieces of paper on fire; it was from the garbage can," he said.

Police said the garbage can was likely put on the tracks by vandals and had to be moved.

The train operator put on an orange vest and jumped down with a paddle in his hands.

When Garcia saw the flash of fire, he turned and ran.

"Instinct," he said, "My first reaction was to run and push the woman next to me, so we both started running ran down the platform."

Later, he saw that the operator was fine and had put a dent in the garbage can.

"You can see the hole from the shock; it must have exploded the bottom," he said.

Some of the train operators union leaders and colleagues said the operator followed proper procedure when he got down on the tracks, doing what he was trained to do.

He used what it's called paddle to break the electric current from the third rail and protect the riders.

That vandals would put everyone at risk makes Garcia angry.

"You're going to throw it on the track, when it could cost thousands of lives? Makes no sense," he said.

A spokesman for the Transit Workers Union said, "workers can get hurt, burnt, and even killed by these arc explosions. He was lucky."

Back in April, a video surfaced showing an explosion apparently caused by a piece of metal intentionally placed on a southbound C train at Norstrand Avenue.

Keyshawn Brown, 16, faces charges of arson, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment in that incident.



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