Hamptons Subway Newsletter: Week of April 4–10, 2014

Scarlett Johansson on the Hamptons Subway
Scarlett Johansson on the Hamptons Subway! Photos: jimkopf/iStock/Thinkstock, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Thinkstock

Week of April 4 – 10, 2014
Riders this past week: 10,412
Rider miles this past week: 104,823

Famed violinist Itzhak Perlman was seen riding from East Hampton to Sag Harbor carrying his violin Thursday afternoon. He kept fending off people trying to put dollar bills into his hat, which was on his lap, until he finally put it on his head. Apparently there were people who thought he was a platform musician. He was sitting across from composer Daniel Koontz. Alexa Ray Joel was seen on the subway Friday, heading from Bridgehampton to Sag Harbor, perhaps to see her father. Scarlett Johansson was on the subway on Thursday, going from Westhampton Beach to Quogue.

I’m sure you read about all the subway troubles Tuesday online or in the newspapers. Many reports were inaccurate. Here’s what happened.

Around 9:45 a.m., just as rush hour was winding down, some kind of malfunction occurred on one of the four turnstiles that led onto the platform in Hampton Bays. People would slide their transit card through the slot and then push on the bar in front of them, which would move but then make a BANG sound halfway through, after which the bar behind would shove the person in the small of the back and catapult them projectile-like across the subway platform toward the tracks, with wallets, handbags and subway cards flying, at about 10 miles an hour.

Fortunately, at that hour, the platforms were still packed with people, so these unfortunates would slam into the backs of the crowd, which would cushion their landing but cause an uproar. Nobody so catapulted reached the tracks. But soon lots of people lay on the ground.

Someone pulled an emergency cord, which sounded an alarm, stopped all the trains in the system, called in the National Guard and fired a flare high into the sky from the stairs at street level there in Hampton Bays, all of which is part of our anti-terrorism system.

The rest you probably know. The subway system was shut down for four hours. Fifteen people so catapulted were taken to Southampton Hospital with minor back injuries. Twenty-six straphangers on the platforms were treated by paramedics where they lay. Alert token booth lady Alice Springhigher ran out and threw her body across the errant turnstile so no further people could use it, though of course none tried because of the panic and the melee and the fact that all the trains were halted.

We regret the inconvenience.

As we speak, mechanics from International Turnstiles, based in Osaka, are here trying to see what went wrong with that turnstile, but for the moment are stumped. One was overheard to say he’d never seen this happen before.

An odd smell in the tunnel between the Napeague and Hither Hills stations was found to have been caused by a group of wild flowers sprouting. We are waiting for an inspector from the EPA to tell us if these are endangered species that cannot be removed or invasive species that need to be removed immediately.

Eugenia Fay, our illustrious assistant bookkeeper, turned 44 years old on Thursday and we celebrated with a cake in the employee cafeteria in the Hamptons Subway Headquarters building in Hampton Bays. It was kinda spooky because this was her first day back after plastic surgery and nobody recognized her for a while.

All lawsuits filed because of the turnstile going berserk should be sent directly to our attorneys at Brown, Marsh and Duckwhistle in Bay Shore.

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