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EAST RIVER TUNNEL REOPENS FOR RUSH

Rail and train tracks damaged Tuesday in an East River tunnel fire were repaired this morning in time to accommodate 110,000 commuters at Pennsylvania Station.

Thirty-thousand Long Island Rail Road commuters were stranded in Manhattan when the fire broke out at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday in a tunnel under the East River, sending smoke into Penn Station during the height of the evening rush hour. It was extinguished by about 7 p.m.

The LIRR suspended service through the tunnel, one of four used by its trains, at 6:20 p.m., and authorities barred people from entering the station until the smoke began to dissipate.

Some service was restored by 7:05 p.m., and full service was running by 7:45, but the system was experiencing 30-minute delays.

Officials had feared that the damaged tunnel would not be fixed by 6 a.m. today, a critical time for workers entering Manhattan. But the repairs were completed by 5:35.

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