State Attorney General launches probe into Court Square incident where flash flood nearly swept man onto tracks

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Screenshot of video via Twitter/@SubwayCreatures

Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office is launching an inquiry in response to an incident at the Court Square subway station in Long Island City Wednesday night when a freak flood knocked a straphanger down and swept him toward an oncoming E train.

In response to a letter from state Senator Michael Gianaris, James is demanding that New Line Structures and Civetta Construction, the companies responsible for recent construction work at the station, produce relevant documents, including contracts, and that all documents related to work on this station be preserved.

“This is an incredibly dangerous situation that easily could have resulted in the loss of a life, and we need answers,” James said Friday. “These companies are hired to improve conditions without jeopardizing public safety. Yet, I am deeply concerned that instead they may have created a treacherous environment for New Yorkers in this incident. My office is looking into the companies responsible for this work because such dangerous conditions are unacceptable.”

In a video that went viral, viewers can see an individual, who forced off of his feet by a forceful stream of water gushing across the platform, just as a train was arriving into the station. The individual almost collides with an oncoming train because of the force of the water stream. The water stream can be seen emanating from an area of the platform that is under construction and being managed by New Line Structures and Civetta Construction, according to the AG’s office.

“As the MTA struggles to deliver on its mission for New Yorkers, this is another horrible incident that reveals the dangers subway riders face just for trying to move around our city,” Gianaris said. “In this case, people were nearly killed due to the negligence of a private corporation which must be held to account. In situations like this, too much deference is typically afforded to faceless corporate entities to the detriment of the public and I thank Attorney General James for looking into this deplorable episode, holding these contractors accountable, and seeking whatever remedies are available for the serious damages caused.”

QNS reached out to New Line Structures and Civetta Construction and is awaiting their response. Meanwhile, the MTA is welcoming the Attorney General’s inquiry.

“This irresponsible action by the developer and contractor was unacceptable and avoidable and put lives at risk, we are outraged by it, and those responsible must be held accountable,” MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said. “The developer and contractor have agreed, at the MTA’s insistence, to numerous measures at their expense to prevent this in the future, and we are adding additional oversight at their expense to their work abutting our station. I very much welcome this inquiry by Attorney General James which will help ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”

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