‘We felt the vibration’ – Pocono Commuters Describe Port Authority Blast

DELAWARE WATER GAP -- People who commute from the Poconos to New York City were rushed back to their buses after Monday morning’s explosion at the Port Authority bus terminal.

Commuters we spoke to tell Newswatch 16 they felt the ground and building shake when that bomb went off during the morning rush hour in New York City.

More than a dozen commuters were on an early-morning bus that left Port Authority and arrived at the Martz bus station in Delaware Water Gap at 9:30 a.m. Commuters were able to safely get to the bus and out of the city.

Destiny Washam jumped from the bus and into the arms of her loved one at the bus station in Delaware Water Gap. She was one of many people at Port Authority in New York City when a bomb went off during the early morning rush hour.

"I was just waiting on the bus, obviously, and then a minute later everyone was escorted out of Port Authority, no rhyme or reason. It was very scary."

A spokesperson for Martz Trailways tells Newswatch 16 the passageway where the bomb went off was right below where the company parks its buses.

The driver of the bus says he had to act quickly to get passengers safely out of Port Authority.

"I didn't hear anything but people running from upstairs to downstairs. The big explosion was upstairs in the subway," said bus driver Paul Yonel.

Some commuters felt the ground shake after the explosion. Some we spoke to said after they felt the ground shake, they saw people running, and police and emergency personnel started showing up everywhere.

"We felt the vibration. We were sitting there waiting for the bus and I felt the vibration,” said Michelle Russell of Stroudsburg. “I got up, jumped up and right away, I told everyone, ‘Just leave. I'll be OK.' Sure enough, they said it happened in the train station."

Some people were not able to get to work. One commuter we spoke to says because all transportation was shut down and there was a lot of police activity, once he got off the bus, he had to find another one to come home.

"The bus went into the Port Authority about a quarter to 8. They shut down the Port Authority. Everything was closed and the subways were closed also, so I wasn't able to travel," said Ed Scalise of Saylorsburg.  "I was a little nervous. I knew something was wrong. You could kind of tell. We saw a lot of emergency vehicles going to the Port Authority, and we basically figured that something was wrong."

A spokesperson for Martz Trailways says they were able to communicate by message board with more than 5,000 customers using the Martz alert system to make sure passengers stayed updated throughout the day.

4 comments

  • Elite MallCops

    Typical WNEP, desperate to get the “local angle” of any tragedy. There is no possible way anyone in the bus terminal, 3-5 floors up and on the opposite end of a huge building felt a small explosion under the street a block away. Buses roll through there all the time and you don’t feel one even inches away.

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