Wood falls from Queens elevated subway platform, pierces windshield

WOODSIDE, Queens (WABC) -- A man in Queens is lucky to be alive after a piece of wood fell from an elevated subway platform and pierced his windshield Thursday afternoon.

It happened just before 1 p.m. on Roosevelt Avenue and 65th Street in Woodside, underneath the 7 train line.

Pictures and video posted on social media showed a horrific scene where death was certainly a possibility.

Mahboob Lodhi, an Uber driver, came within inches of being impaled after the wooden beam came crashing down into his SUV.

He hit the brakes and luckily was not hurt, refusing medical attention.

"And boom, I'm just shocked," he said. "I'm nervous, and then after a couple minutes, nothing."

Lodhi says he had just finished his shift, so luckily no one was sitting next to him. But he says he was sprayed with shattered glass, and part of the beam struck his arm.

"He didn't say anything at all," witness Bobby Ramiro said. "He was shaken. He was scared. He was nervous...I said, 'Are you OK, sir? Are you OK?' He said OK, but we saw there was no blood or nothing. I was scared too because I only ever see those kinds of things in movies."

Eyewitness News obtained video of the moment the beam fell and pierced the windshield.

"He was not feeling well inside," Lodhi's uncle, Mohammad Nasiruddin said. "He was shaking. So when I noticed he was shaking, I said you should go to the hospital."

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer called on the MTA to "answer for our crumbling subway infrastructure before a tragedy occurs."

The MTA issued the following statement:

"We take this incident extremely seriously, are conducting a full investigation into what happened, have personnel ensuring the rest of the area is safe, and are relieved that no one was injured."

A full investigation is underway, but preliminary observations indicate that the wood appears to be from a worker or supply platform that was installed beneath the tracks years ago. There were no issues with the track or station, and subway service was not impacted.

MTA crews were at the scene, removing the rest of the wooden beams being stored under the tracks. The rest of the 7 line is now being checked for similar platforms, and the MTA says every other elevated structure in the system will be checked next.

There are no construction projects at this location at this time.

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