World

New York subway floods as 127-year-old water main gives way under Times Square

Water from a water main break cascades into New York’s Times Square subway station (Marc A Hermann/MTA, via AP/PA)
Water from a water main break cascades into New York’s Times Square subway station (Marc A Hermann/MTA, via AP/PA) Water from a water main break cascades into New York’s Times Square subway station (Marc A Hermann/MTA, via AP/PA)

A 127-year-old water main under New York’s Times Square gave way early on Tuesday, flooding streets and the city’s busiest subway station.

The half-metre water main gave way under 40th Street and Seventh Avenue at 3am, said Rohit Aggarwala, commissioner of New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection.

The rushing water was only a few inches deep on the street, but videos posted on social media showed the flood cascading into the Times Square subway station down stairwells and through ventilation grates.

The water turned the trenches that carry the subway tracks into mini rivers and soaked train platforms.

Water Main Break Times Square
Water Main Break Times Square Water from a water main break cascades into New York’s Times Square subway station (Marc A Hermann/MTA, via AP/PA)

It took DEP crews about an hour to find the source of the leak and shut the water off, Mr Aggarwala said.

The excavation left a big hole at the intersection of 40th Street and Seventh Avenue, where workers were digging with heavy equipment to get to the broken section of pipe.

Water Main Break Times Square
Water Main Break Times Square Water from the water main break in New York’s Times Square (Marc A Hermann/MTA, via AP/PA)

While that intersection remained closed to traffic, surrounding streets were open by rush hour.

Subway service, however, was suspended throughout much of Manhattan.