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The Borough Hall subway station on June 15, 2018.
Photograph by Amy Plitt

The collapse of New York City’s subway system has been measured in extensive delays, falling ridership numbers and just generally unpleasant experiences on the train. And as of today, we can add “pieces of the thing are literally falling down” to the list, as straphangers witnessed part of the ceiling collapse at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall station.

Subway rider Eric Chan first tweeted the image you see below, which he said was the aftermath of a collapsed piece of the Borough Hall ceiling that also knocked over someone’s suitcase. Additional images and video taken of the station’s Manhattan-bound platform show a pile of debris and a light fixture barely holding on to the ceiling.

An FDNY press official said one person was injured, but refused medical attention, and that the department was no longer on the scene. The collapse has affected service on the 4/5 lines, which are skipping the Borough Hall stop; there are likely to be delays on the 2 and 3 lines as well.

The Borough Hall station is the oldest subway stop in Brooklyn, with the 4/5 platform having opened 110 years ago as an extension of the Lexington Avenue line in Manhattan. But in recent years, its decorative tilework, and even the walls themselves, have fallen into ever-worsening states of disrepair. Curbed NY editor Amy Plitt, who commuted through the station for two years, notes that new lights were recently installed in the station, but “they just highlight how rundown the whole place looks. It’s a mess.”

“Today’s ceiling collapse is one more reminder of how badly Governor Cuomo and state legislators need to fix the subway,” Danny Pearlstein, policy and communications director at the Riders Alliance, told Curbed in a statement. “Station upgrades, like modern signals and new subway cars, are at the core of NYC Transit President Byford’s Fast Forward plan, which it’s up to the governor and legislature to fund. With every scrambled commute, riders look to their elected leaders to make the investments we need to get to work and back home safely and reliably each day.”

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