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.
DEP crews are on the scene of a possible water main break in #TimesSquare. Water has been turned off to stop the leak and allow the water to drain from the roadways. Work is underway now to identify the source of the leak. pic.twitter.com/WFcV6tabl7
— NYC Water (@NYCWater) August 29, 2023
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.
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.
While that intersection remained closed to traffic, surrounding streets were open by rush hour.
Subway service, however, was suspended throughout much of Manhattan.