Massive drill bit nearly pierces New York City subway train

Dylan Stableford
Massive drill bit nearly pierces New York City subway train

A massive drill bit being used in an underground construction project bored through the top of a New York City subway tunnel and nearly pierced a train, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says.

The 10-inch wide drill bit came through the subway ceiling about 700 feet from the 21st Street Station in Queens shortly before noon Thursday and grazed an unoccupied car on the F train, the MTA said. A conductor noticed the drill bit and stopped the train, which was carrying about 800 people. A second train was used to bring the passengers back to the 21st Street Station platform.

Several windows were shattered and the roof and side of the train sustained minor damage, but no one was hurt. The MTA said it is investigating.

The drill bit is part of the MTA's East Side Access project, which will connect the Long Island Rail Road with Grand Central Terminal.

Not surprisingly, the mishap had passengers perplexed.

“That could have killed somebody," Trinidad Casas told "That could have hurt somebody."

“I don’t even know how that’s possible," Anthony Jerez said. "So yeah, that’s pretty scary."

“They’re supposed to be professionals, they’re supposed to be doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” Jerez added. ”They’re getting money. You know, the city is paying them, paying a lot of tax money.”

Others, though, shrugged off the incident.

“I wasn’t worried — I just assumed it was normal MTA crap,” Stephanie Cruz told the New York Post. “Something’s always breaking, you’re underground so you’re pretty much secluded from knowing if there is any real danger.”

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