Mon 3 Nov, 2003 09:15 am
NEW YORK (Oct. 31) - A man riding a Metro-North train dropped his cell phone in a toilet and got his arm stuck trying to retrieve it Thursday, forcing the train to stop and delaying the evening commute for thousands of people.
Edwin Gallart, 41, of the Bronx, was stuck with his arm in the toilet for 90 minutes, The Advocate of Stamford reported in Friday's editions.
The incident happened on the 6:19 p.m. train from Grand Central Terminal. Crew members were alerted to the problem at about 59th Street, a few blocks north of Grand Central.
"A customer aboard the train contacted the conductor to say there was a customer in the toilet in distress," Metro-North spokesman Dan Brucker said. "Soon our entire Hudson Line was in distress."
The conductor called for a supervisor, or trainmaster, who boarded the train at 125th Street to help, Brucker said.
As the train continued north on the Harlem Line, the trainmaster tried to remove Gallart's arm from the stainless steel commode, Brucker said.
Twenty minutes later, at 6:38 p.m., police and firefighters boarded the train at Fordham station and began helping Gallart, Brucker said.
Meanwhile, passengers were evacuated and thousands of commuters were delayed because the train sat blocking the platform as the rescue work continued, Brucker said.
Other trains were prevented from reaching the platform at Fordham, and they couldn't stop at four stations to the north as well because they were prevented from switching to the correct track, Brucker said.
Firefighters tried a variety of methods to extricate Gallart's arm. They ended up taking apart the entire toilet, Brucker said.
Gallart's arm was removed and he was treated and released from a Fordham-area hospital, Brucker said. His cell phone wasn't retrieved.
The railroad's maintenance department estimated the toilet would take two days and "several thousand dollars" to fix, Brucker said.
Gallart could not be reached Thursday night. His home phone number was not listed.
10/31/03 07:54 EST
Would you like to know where his cell phone should have been stuck?
Apparently, this happens more often than we hear about, and mostly to men. They carry their cell phones in their pant pockets, and when they sit down "splash." I have a friend that retrieved his phone from the toilet (yuck!). He lost all the programming, but still managed to get it working again.
LOL. How's that for most embarrassing moments.