Rocio Delances appeared at the Portela Law Firm, PC in Washington Heights to report that she was a passenger on the A train the day before which derailed at the 125th street station. She reported that she sustained injuries from the accident and was suffering from anxiety and was afraid to take the train to work. The Portela Law Firm is investigating a claim against the MTA.
On June 27th as part of ROCIO DELANCES' usual work routine, she took the A train at 9:27 a.m. from her residence in Washington Heights to her work at GEM convenience store where she works as a stockperson in downtown Delancey. She was travelling alone and was seated in the last subway car full of passengers during the rush hour commute.
Delances reported to her attorney Manuel Portela, Jr. that as the train approached the 125th station, Rocio heard a loud explosion and felt a sudden jerk as the train came to an abrupt stop. An elderly woman seated next to Rocio fell over her and banged her head against Rocio's head. Immediately after the train came to an abrupt stop, smoke started coming into her subway-car. Delances reported that she started suffocating. The subway exit car doors were jammed shut. Delances stated that the lights were out and it was dark. A lot of smoke entered the subway-car and passengers started to panic. Passengers used tools to break the windows to allow the smoke to escape the subway-car.
Rocio told her attorney that she felt desperate and in fear. She said that MTA emergency assistance took a long time to get to them. In all of commotion they heard a lot of banging noise as the firefighters were banging the windows to allow the smoke out. Passengers were crying. Delances remained in the subway-car for about 40 minutes. During that time Rocio remained in the dark breathing in the smoke. The windows and doors could not be opened as passengers broke the subway windows. After 40 minutes, Rocio saw the firefighters opening the subway cart door that led to the other subway cars. She exited the car following the other passengers using the doors that divide the subway cars from the last subway carts to the first cart. When Rocio exited the subway cart the passengers applauded and prayed. She saw the firefighters and saw the paramedics removing injured passengers. She was told to evacuate the subway station. Rocio exited the subway station and called her family. She walked from 125th Street to the 2 train and proceeded to her work in shock.
When she arrived to work, she reported to her attorney that felt ill and anxious. Rocio's manager directed her to go directly to get immediate medical care at Citi M.D. at 138 Delancey Street with her employer's manager Omyra Pena.
Delances was diagnosed with smoke inhalation. She was instructed to go directly to a hospital emergency room, because her condition would best be treated at a hospital. She then took a taxi to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital Emergency Unit where she received immediate attention. She was administered oxygen, bloodwork, an electrocardiogram and X rays. The medical staff at Columbia Presbyterian reported that she had elevated blood pressure. Delances complained to her attorney of coughing and strong headaches from the smoke inhalation and shock. She also complained of neck, shoulder and back pain. She remained at Columbia Presbyterian from 12 noon until 7:30 p m.
Rocio Delances retained the law offices of Portela Law Firm, PC near her home in Washington Heights to file a claim against the MTA. She is available to give a statement from the law offices at 177 Wadsworth Avenue, New York, NY