A truck got stuck in a New York City tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan causing a miles-long traffic jam, resulting in firefighters sawing apart the vehicle’s trailer, officials said.
The 18-wheel tractor-trailer truck became wedged about a mile into the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel on Thursday morning, and it took responding crews around two hours to remove the vehicle, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
“This driver blatantly ignored numerous highway warning signs and a Bridge and Tunnel Officer who tried to stop it from entering the tunnel,” MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Catherine Sheridan said in a statement. “Those reckless actions caused delays to the end of the morning commute, inconveniencing hundreds of other drivers.”
Photos released by the MTA showed firefighters using a saw to cut apart the trailer of the truck, the frame of which was seen visibly bent out of shape after becoming stuck in the busy tunnel.
“The truck driver ignored multiple warnings from B&T officers not to enter the tunnel as well as signs posted at the entry to the tunnel warning motorists about a height restriction of 12″1’, In addition, the tunnel entered by this truck was marked closed, indicated by a large red ‘X’ over the entrance,” the MTA said.
“Following removal of the truck, MTA engineers performed safety inspections on the ceiling of the tunnel from the Brooklyn end to the midpoint, to ensure it was structurally sound before reopening to traffic at 3:10 p.m. for the afternoon rush hour,” the MTA added.
The MTA said the truck was carrying paint with a shipment dropped off in Brooklyn before it headed to Port Washington on Long Island when it became stuck in the tunnel.
As a result of the incident, the driver has been issued “numerous summonses including traveling in an HOV lane, disobeying posted over-height warning signs, damage to property, failure to obey an officer, driving an unregistered vehicle, and operating with a flat tire,” officials said.