Cat on NYC subway tracks causes major delays during Wednesday rush hour

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A cat was responsible for massive delays on the NYC subway system Wednesday evening but was safely rescued from the tracks and returned to his owner.

Mila Rusafova had her cat George with her in his carrier at the Canal Street subway platform Wednesday afternoon. George got out of the carrier and jumped down onto the tracks, prompting the shutdown when his petmom alerted an E train motorman, telling him she had been trying to clean the carrier when her cat escaped.

The MTA shut off the power to the tracks and suspended service on both uptown and downtown C and E trains, resulting in delays for more than 100 trains.

A police officer rescued George from the track bed and he was safely returned to his petmom.

Rusafova tweeted a photo of George Thursday, writing: “He is now home safe. Thank you all so much for your help.”

MTA New York City Transit kept the public updated on the delays via Twitter on Wednesday, and told the story at Facebook Thursday afternoon, writing:

Wednesday Evening Rush Hour Problems on A, C, E

If cats truly have nine lives, eight of them were used up disrupting your trip home yesterday evening along A, C, or E lines. The service issues were caused by a loose cat scampering on the uptown local tracks at Canal Street during the rush period. Yes, a cat.

The incident began at 5:19 p.m., when the Train Operator of a Parsons –Archer bound E train encountered the feline on the tracks, dangerously close to the electrified third rail just inside of the station. Unable to move her train, the Train Operator radioed our Rail Control Center to inform them that a female customer alerted the crew that her cat was on the tracks. While our train crews deal with a myriad of incidents, an animal on the tracks is rare but crippling to service.

After receiving word from the field, the Control Center immediately began notifying other trains in the area, instructing them to remain in stations. They were also instructed to notify passengers regarding the cause of the delay. Dispatchers at the Control Center also began implementing delay mitigation strategies for trains on the A, C, E and F line. Queens-bound E service was suspended between World Trade Center and West 4th St while Uptown C trains ran express between Canal St and 59th St. Downtown E trains were diverted to 2nd Ave.

Shortly after 5:30, the incident train was discharged in the station. Power was removed from the tracks fifteen minutes later to allow emergency workers to attempt a rescue of the animal. While power was off, no local E or C trains were able to operate in the area between Canal Street and World Trade Center. At approximately 5:50 p.m., the cat was rescued from the tracks, keeping one of its nine lives intact. Power was restored to tracks in the area just shy of 6:00 p.m., and trains were instructed that it was safe to resume operations, but by then the damage to the evening rush hour was complete. In all, the Control Center implemented more than 52 different service changes and 83 trains on six lines – A, B, C, D, E and F – were impacted either by being rerouted or delayed.

So how did the cat get to the roadbed anyway you ask? Well it seems its owner was cleaning the pet’s carrier while on the Canal St platform when the cat decided to make a run for it.

Note to pet owners: Thank you for carrying your pet in a carrier but please clean it at home, not on the subway.

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