NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A water main break in the West Village forced the evacuation of 500 people from No. 1 train Wednesday evening.
The 12-inch water main broke at 6:45 p.m. at 13th Street and Seventh Avenue., officials told CBS2.
As of Thursday morning, all the No. 1 and 2 trains’ service, which suffered the most from the water main break, had been fully restored with residual delays.
As a result late Wednesday, the No. 1, 2 and 3 trains were completely shut down between Chambers Street and Times Square-42nd Street in both directions. Southbound No. 1, 2 and 3 trains were also temporarily not running below 42nd Street, and northbound No. 2 and 3 trains were not running north of Chambers Street at all until early Thursday.
Shuttle No. 1 trains were running between South Ferry and Chambers Street, and shuttle bus service was in place for the entire stretch between Chambers Street and Times Square.
Some No. 2 trains were running on the No. 5 line from Nevins Street in Brooklyn to 149th Street-Grand Concourse in the Bronx.
It was not immediately learned whether subway service would be affected in the morning.
A photo from the scene showed brownish water inundating the intersection and coming up the sidewalk to the edge of a building. Passengers were still in the train car at the time, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported.
Video at the scene also showed water cascading down the side of a train and pouring down into the 14th Street No. 1, 2 and 3 train station below.
Fire officials said the water was 2 feet deep in some spots and was actually covering the third rail in the subway.
Water had begun to recede by 8:40 p.m. after the water main was shut off, but there were still numerous muddy areas.
Fire crews said there was also a concern about possible asbestos contamination in the air.
City Councilman Corey Johnson (D-3rd) said the soggy scene could not have happened at a worse time.
“It’s rush hour. This is a major, major station — express and local trains; the 1, 2 and 3,” he said, “and now it’s going to cause a pretty significant inconvenience for people who need this station.”
Many people found themselves still faced with the suspended train service several hours later.
“It’s just another typical inconvenience in New York City,” said commuter Yasmin Ben-David.
A fire battalion chief said Con Edison and the Department of Environmental Protection were already at the scene working on a different issue before the water main break, and may have hit the pipe accidentally.
About 500 people were safely removed from the final trains when they pulled into 14th Street before the shutdown, 1010 WINS reported.
Crews could be seen lowering a pump down into the subway station entrance at Seventh Avenue and West 12th Street to remove excess water, 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr reported. Pumps worked to drain more than a foot of water on the tracks.
Seventh Avenue was also closed to traffic between 12th and 13th streets, 1010 WINS reported.
“Seventh Avenue is completely closed off to traffic, so traffic is backed up way, way, way up Seventh Avenue,” Councilman Johnson.
The nearby Lenox Hill Healthplex was also dealing with problems as a result of the break, fire officials said.
“Steam has been disconnected from the hospital – it is affecting the hospital with that utility at this point,” said FDNY Battalion Chief John Porretto. He said he was not sure if any patients were affected.
Some power was shut off in the area, but it did not appear that any residential buildings were affected, officials said at the scene.
There were no reports of injuries, 1010 WINS reported.
The DEP remained on the scene investigating Wednesday night.