The train derailed as the MTA was preparing to celebrate the reopening of a subway station at the southern tip of Manhattan that had been closed since it was flooded by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.
"Train derailment near 125 A train". There were 34 minor injuries, including smoke inhalation, according to the New York Times, and 17 were taken to nearby hospitals.
"The train was peeled open like a can opener", Paul Navarro, track division chairman for the Transport Workers Union, said.
"The emergency brakes automatically went on". But when he said that there was smoke on the tracks, that's when we became more concerned. The sparks caused a small fire that lasted only briefly, Nigro said.
"It is my expectation that with new leadership brought by Joe Lhota, the MTA will address the fundamental issues plaguing the transit system and overhaul the organizational structure of the MTA", the Democratic governor said.
He said the station was not smoky, but there was a strong, acrid smell.
Several passengers had to be evacuated from trains the were stuck because of the derailment.
It also comes less than two weeks before the start of Amtrak's summer-long work to fix aging infrastructure at New York Penn Station, a project that is expected to increase subway volume as commuters seek alternatives.
"People were going insane and it was very chaotic and traumatizing", said subway rider Jazmil Genao.
The number of delays has soared this year and many commuters complain that they no longer can be sure they will be able to get around the city reliably.