A controversial New York City subway line was shut down after passengers reportedly fainted from strong fumes

  • Two passengers reportedly fainted after breathing harmful fumes in a New York City subway line, the New York Daily News first reported Tuesday. 
  • The line was closed for hours while crews worked to find the source of the smell. 
  • The L train is a hot-button issue for strap-hangers recently after Gov. Cuomo made a snap announcement in January that it wouldn't have to close for 15 months as planned. 

A major New York City subway line between Manhattan and Brooklyn was shuttered Tuesday after two passengers fainted amid a noxious smell.

The L train - one of the most advanced, but also one of the most hated trains in the system - has been suspended between the two boroughs Tuesday afternoon after track workers saw an unknown substance "bubbling" up at a Brooklyn station, according to the New York Daily News.
A Business Insider reporter confirmed it has smelled like "straight gasoline" for her past three rides on the L train.

"Our safety checks have found that the air is currently safe," New York City Transit, which runs the subway, said in a service advisory. "But we need to correct and resolve the condition before restoring service."

Passengers were advised to consider alternate trains or buses, which could cause a headache for rush hour commuters if the problem is not fixed. The L train carries roughly 250,000 passengers every day through many neighborhoods that don't have many other subway options.

Tuesday's incident could also complicate the state agency's plans to fix the L train's tunnels under the East River, which have been badly damaged for six years following Hurricane Sandy.

The original plan was to shutter the line for 15 months. However, Governor Cuomo made a surprise announcement in January that the repairs could be possible through night- and weekend-closures that would still allow for daytime service for workers.TWU Local 100, a union that represents subway workers, said it had pulled crews from three stations.

"L train riders need answers, not only about this morning's incident but also about how Governor Cuomo will guarantee that, if his L train construction plan happens, riders won't ever have to worry that fumes leftover from overnight work will make them sick," the Riders' Alliance advocacy group said in a statement.

"Without additional subway and priority bus service between Brooklyn and Manhattan, traffic L-pocalypse is still a real threat," it added.

The L train is no stranger to odd fumes, either. In recent years, sewage leek farther into Brooklyn near the Myrtle-Wyckoff station reeked for months.