Transport officials have confirmed today that a dead shark has been discovered on the subway in New York City.
The shark, about 4 ft long, was found under a row of seats on a Queens-bound train.
The conductor asked passengers to leave the carriage and the train continued to the end of the line, where a supervisor disposed of the shark.
The shark, about 4 ft long, was found under a row of seats on a Queens-bound train
Pigeons and even an opossum have made their way on to the trains before, but never a shark, transit officials said.
However, where it came from remains a mystery.
Isvett Verde, of Brooklyn, New York, who took a photo of the shark, said she noticed that the empty carriage of the N train “smelled extremely fishy” when she boarded at 8th Street.
“It’s hard to be surprised as there are always crazy things happening in this city, but even that was a bit much,” Isvett Verde said.
Other pictures of the exotic discovery have also gone viral, including one of the shark with a cigarette in its mouth next to a fare card and a can of energy drink.
Experts have warned that it could take the New York City subway system three full weeks to come back online.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Tuesday that the subway service would be shut down until Saturday or Sunday – a total closure of six to seven days.
But a group of Columbia University researchers analyzing the effects of a smaller hurricane or tropical storm suggest that it would shut down the subways for 21 days.
The predictions came in a report authored by Klaus Jacob, a geophysicist who specializes in disaster management, that examined the effects on the city’s transportation infrastructure of a 100-year storm.
And the model used a storm less powerful than a superstorm such as Sandy.
Limited bus service began again on Tuesday and was expected to expand throughout the week.
Experts have warned that it could take the New York City subway system three full weeks to come back online
Trains stopped running at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday as the MTA preemptively closed down service for only the second time in its history.
The closure was an effort to secure the subway system against the impending storm, but massive damage came anyway.
The tunnels beneath the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn flooded and dozens of stations across the city were inundated by the storm surge that rose water levels by 13 feet.
Dr. Klaus Jacob and his researchers used a lesser storm as a model for their report – one that has only a one percent chance of happening in any given year.
A statement from the MTA on Monday said Hurricane Sandy was the worst disaster in the subway’s 108-year history.
Dr. Klaus Jacob’s report estimated that a hurricane hitting nearby could result in 1billion gallons of water flooding each of the subway’s 14 tunnels that run under the East River.
Each tunnel was expected to take at least five days to pump dry.
The study’s 21-day estimate includes the time Dr. Klaus Jacob predicted it would take city workers to bring the subway system back to 90% function.
New York City’s public transport system will be suspended tonight ahead of the arrival on Monday of Hurricane Sandy.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said the subway, bus and train services would shut down from 19:00 on Sunday.
As many as 375,000 people have been ordered to evacuate low-lying areas, and schools will be shut.
Sandy’s winds are set to intensify as it merges with a wintry storm from the western US. A number of states on the East Coast have declared an emergency.
Up to 60 million people could be affected by the storm, which is set to hit several states key to the 6 November presidential election
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have modified their campaign engagements. President Barack Obama described the storm as “big, serious and slow-moving” – and said it would pose additional problems.
“It is important for us to respond big and to respond fast,” he said after a meeting at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Asked whether the storm would affect the vote, Barack Obama said: “We don’t anticipate that at this point but we’re obviously going to have to take a look.”
Republican candidate Mitt Romney has cancelled an event scheduled for Sunday in Virginia, a key election state, because of the weather, and was instead heading to Ohio.
Hurricane Sandy has already killed 60 people in the Caribbean during the past week.
At 11:00 EDT, the eye of Hurricane Sandy was about 250 miles (400 km) South of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, and 575 miles south of New York City, according to the National Hurricane Center.
With winds of 75 mph, it was expected to bring a “life-threatening” surge flooding to the Mid-Atlantic coast, including Long Island Sound and New York Harbour.
The centre said winds were expected to be near hurricane force at landfall.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said people needed to start taking action immediately.
New York City’s public transport system will be suspended tonight ahead of the arrival on Monday of Hurricane Sandy
Michael Bloomberg said the worst of the storm would hit New York on Monday, but warned that a storm surge expected later on Sunday could do “plenty of damage”.
“I don’t want anybody to go to bed tonight thinking that they can spend the day worrying about the night after,” he said.
The mayor said 375,000 people living in low-lying areas should leave on Sunday.
In his warning, Governor Cuomo said he did not want to overreact, but to be “prudent”. He urged people not in low-lying areas to stay at home.
Flights were expected to be affected – Air France says it will cancel all flights into New York and Washington DC on Monday.
However, the New York Stock Exchange announced it would open as usual on Monday.
“We continue to monitor the situation and to communicate with government officials, regulators, and markets participants,” NYSE spokesman Rich Adamonis told Reuters news agency.
Similar precautions were taken last year as Hurricane Irene approached the East Coast. It killed more than 40 people from North Carolina to Maine and caused an estimated $10 billion worth of damage.
FEMA director Craig Fugate said: “This is not a coastal threat alone. This is a very large area.”
Its safety tips include preparations for and what to do during and after a hurricane.
While the East Coast is used to extreme weather, Sandy is causing concern to meteorologists who fear it could mutate into a “Frankenstorm” as it merges with a winter storm in the run-up to Halloween.
It is only moving north-east at 14mph, and could hit as many as 12 states, bringing up to 25 cm of rain, 60 cm of snow, extreme storm surges and power cuts.
States of emergency have been declared in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington DC and a coastal county in North Carolina.
The NHC said further strengthening was possible on Sunday, before Sandy touched down anywhere between Virginia and southern New England late on Monday.
In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie pleaded with residents not to be complacent.
“I know everyone’s saying this isn’t going to happen… that the weathermen always get it wrong,” he said.
He urged people to stock up on essentials in case they were trapped at home for a few days.
“We have to be prepared for the worst here. I can be as cynical as any of you but when the storm comes, if it’s as bad as they’re predicting it will be, you’re gonna wish you weren’t as cynical as you might otherwise have been.”
Delaware has ordered a mandatory evacuation of 50,000 people from coastal areas.
Earlier in the week, Hurricane Sandy caused havoc as it ploughed across the Caribbean, killing at least 44 people in Haiti, 11 in Cuba and four more in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
James Ramseur, one of the four teens who were famously shot by “subway vigilante” Bernhard Goetz in a New York subway in 1984, has died in a possible suicide.
James Ramseur, 46, was found dead in the Paradise Motor Inn in the Bronx at about 11:00 a.m. yesterday.
Sources told the New York Daily News that two empty prescription pill bottles were found near the body, suggesting James Ramseur may have taken his own life.
However, cops did not find a suicide note or any wounds on the body.
James Ramseur was scheduled to check out on Thursday, but when he never did, the manager of the motel entered the room and found him.
He was the youngest of four teens who surrounded Bernhard Goetz on the 2 train on December 22, 1984.
Believing the group was about to rob him, Bernhard Goetz pulled out a .38 calibre revolver and fired, striking each of them once.
James Ramseur was shot in the chest, but survived.
Each of his partners in crime – Barry Allen, Troy Canty and Darrell Cabey – were also hospitalized and were not killed.
Bernhard Goetz was briefly a fugitive, but turned himself in to police a little more than a week later in Concord, New Hampshire.
Bernhard Goetz, who is white, claimed it was self-defense, alleging the youths intended to rob him.
During the trial, James Ramseur testified that they were panhandling, and not demanding money from Bernhard Goetz, but it was later reported that the group was intending to mug him.
Bernhard Goetz was convicted of a gun charge but acquitted of attempted murder.
Three of the suspects were found to have screwdrivers at the time of the shooting, which the suspects claimed were used to break into arcade games to steal quarters, not as weapons.
Each of the men shot by Bernhard Goetz would later be in and out of jail, with the exception of Darrell Cabey, who was left paralyzed by the bullet that struck him.
Bernhard Goetz filed for bankruptcy shortly after Darrell Cabey won a $43 million lawsuit against him.
James Ramseur fell into a coma after the shooting and underwent multiple surgeries.
Shortly after James Ramseur’s release from the hospital, he filed a phony report that men hired by Bernhard Goetz tried to kidnap him. He was not charged in that incident.
A year later, in 1986, James Ramseur was convicted of holding a gun while a cohort raped and sodomized a pregnant woman on the rooftop of a Bronx building he lived in.
He was released from prison in that case in 2010 after serving nearly 25 years.
Berry Allen did time after he was convicted of robbery in 1991, while Troy Canty has been arrested for several petty crimes over the years.
The case of the electronics expert who refused to be a victim of subway muggers captivated New York at a time when such crimes were rampant.
The shooting heightened an already divisive debate in the city over race, crime and quality of life in New York City.
He was praised as a hero by many, but he was also branded a racist by civil rights leaders like the Reverend Al Sharpton.
The case is frequently mentioned in popular culture, from crime drama Law & Order to the Billy Joel hit song “We Didn’t Start the Fire”.