Calls for emergency repairs after 17 trapped in elevator at Brooklyn subway station

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, New York City (WABC) -- Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined a group of commuters, residents and other elected officials outside the Clark Street subway station in Brooklyn Heights Wednesday to call on the MTA to take emergency action following Monday morning's elevator outage that trapped 17 commuters for nearly an hour.

It is one of three New York City subway stations that are only accessible by elevator, and the Clark Street station has three elevators that are generally hot and crowded.

Adams says the station's elevators, which have been in service for 87 years, have broken down multiple times in recent months.

"I'm claustrophobic," he said. "I would have climbed up the walls, just thinking about being in that elevator."

Firefighters had to come in through the ceiling and use a ladder to get everyone out.

Adams, a former NYPD officer who started with transit, says it is one of the deepest stations in the system.

"In an emergency situation, when you'll have mass mobilization and the removal of a large number of passengers, we would have failed the test," he said.

Now, critics are demanding the MTA fasttrack the scheduled replacement of the lift. And while that's being done, they want to open an emergency stairwell as an alternative.

"The city and state, mayor and governor need to get your act together," Rep. Nydia Velazquez said. "This is unacceptable in New York City, and this is your responsibility."

An MTA spokesperson tells Eyewitness News that, "All of the elevators at Clark Street are set to be replaced under the current capital program. It's a fully funded project, and we are beginning replacement in the next several months."

* More Brooklyn news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.