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MTA may face suit over stranded straphangers

A Manhattan lawyer for straphangers stranded on the A train during the post-Christmas blizzard plans to file suit this week against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, blasting the agency for not having a policy to deal with trapped passengers during a major storm.

"They could have handed up water or snacks, or blankets," said Aymen Aboushi, who said he so far represents 20 riders. "They dropped the ball on many levels."

Besides seeking an unspecified amount of money, Aboushi said he will demand that the MTA create guidelines for what to do if passengers are left on a train for more than three hours.

Some of the 500 riders stuck in the train overnight in Queens during the Dec. 26-27 blizzard were forced to huddle together to keep warm, Aboushi said.

MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said the agency's policy is to evacuate passengers within an hour, but a rescue train stalled in the snow drifts. "Passengers were made as comfortable as possible," Seaton said. "They were taken into two cars with heat and light."

Aboushi has set up a website, www.stuckonthesubway.com, for A train riders who want to join the lawsuit.

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