The video starts on the Citi Bike, lying there vulnerable on top of the subway’s third rail as if it were a fainting couch. A person murmurs, “Oh my, God, oh no no no,” in muffled anguish as the camera wobbles left and right, trying to anticipate the chaos to come. The roar of the oncoming subway slowly fills the air with an ominous tremble. The train arrives with the force of inevitability and hits the bike, but only a shrill clang is emitted. For a moment, you might think the worst was averted.
But then as the train continues rolling, the bike explodes amidst a cacophony of sparks, flames, and scattered gears. Smoke fills the station as people jog away. The videographer lingers a bit longer to capture the eerie yellow glow of the fallout. Chaos has won this day.
According to a police spokesperson, the incident happened on Sunday around 10:30 p.m. at the Steinway Street station in Astoria. They say someone rolled a Citi Bike onto the track bed, shortly before the Manhattan-bound R train arrived, causing a “substantial risk of injury and smoke condition.” The police are investigating the incident, which they classify as reckless endangerment.
Two trains ended up hitting the bike, from either direction, before it was removed and the station was cleared. The station was shut down for about an hour and a half after the incident. No one was injured in the incident.
MTA spokesperson Tim Minton said in a statement, “This was an attack on all of New York City that took place in the transit system and the miscreants who threw that bike in the path of an oncoming train should be prosecuted for their reckless disregard for the safety of subway drivers and workers.”