New York Daily News, February 7th, 2019

FULL TEXT:

L train riders and transit workers continued to be canaries in the MTA’s coal mine Wednesday.

Three MTA workers had to be hospitalized after hours spent inhaling the same sickening stench that caused a brief shutdown the day before.

The workers fell ill from the heavy fumes — and later on, Transport Workers Union Local 100 officials began distributing masks to station agents.

“They’re telling them the smell is still here. Some guys are saying, I’m starting to feel a little lightheaded,” a subway source said. “Another person is saying, ‘It’s making me nauseous.’”

State Department of Environmental Conservation officials Wednesday found water with “sheens” that seeped into the subway, giving off a smell an agency spokeswoman called “aged petroleum odors.” MTA officials believe it’s heating oil.

The gas smell seemed to hit riders the hardest between the Graham Ave. and Grand St. stops, lingering through to the Bedford Ave. station.

Despite the all-clear to start service back up Tuesday, riders and transit workers were still being affected by the stink overnight and through Wednesday.

“It’s scary,” said Joe Vincent, 55, a bartender from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “Gas like this, you don’t know what it’s going to do to you.”

Gillian Lavictoire, 33, who was with her 5-year-old daughter at the Graham Ave. station, said it was an awful smell, though it’s dissipated over the previous couple of days.

“If it’s a health and safety matter, they should shut it down,” she said.

Ralph Russo, who lives across the street from the Graham Ave. station entrance, said he was unable to sleep in his street-facing bedroom. He thought the gasoline-like smell was unsafe.

“I had to lock the doors and sleep in the living room,” Russo, 77, said. “It was terrible. I couldn’t deal with the smell.”

One TWU station agent working at Graham Ave. bought his own mask after he began to feel ill on duty, a Local 100 source said.

A train conductor was also witnessed wearing a paper mask while on duty.

“It’s terrible,” he said.” I got a headache.”

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