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TTC says puncture from Metrolinx contractors led to subway stoppage

ABOVE: A tunnel puncture led to widespread delays across the TTC Tuesday morning. Peter Kim reports. 

TORONTO – Subway service was suspended both ways between St. George and Ossington stations this morning after water and silt fell onto the tracks forcing the TTC to stop trains at Dundas West station.

The silt and rain water made its way to the track floor through a puncture of the tunnel by Metrolinx contractors working on the Union Pearson Express nearby.

“It came to the point where the wheels of the train were going to be obstructed by the silt,” Mike Palmer, the deputy COO of the TTC said.

The TTC patched up the puncture a few weeks ago, Palmer said. But overnight, something “shifted” leading to Tuesday morning’s closure.

Close to 100 people are working on cleaning up the debris, Palmer said. The TTC fully reopened Line 2 at approximately 3 p.m.

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WATCH: Leslie Roberts talks to Chris Upfold about Tuesday morning’s delays. 

But that’s only a temporary solution. The TTC and Metrolinx crews are working on coming up with a permanent solution to plug the hole for the next two to three decades, Palmer said – but right now, they don’t know exactly how they’ll do it.

“You can do a patch immediately but that’s all it would be, a patch. I want to do a permanent fix,” he said. “What we do need to do is make sure we make the right call on that permanent fix.”

He wouldn’t confirm whether the fix would require the TTC to close a portion of the subway.

The Toronto Transit Commission deployed shuttle buses but many commuters complained about packed buses and insufficient information.

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“You can never provide the alternatives on the surface that would move those people,” Chris Upfold, the deputy CCO of the TTC said. “There’s no good way to replace a full subway system.”

Officials sent out a tweet earlier which had indicated service would begin moving again at noon but they have since retracted the statement.

READ MORE: Trending: Commuter chaos as #TTC suspends subway service

The resulting delays caused TTC commuters to display their displeasure on Twitter.

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