Last Updated: 12:50 PM, June 9, 2012
Posted: 3:21 PM, June 8, 2012
AP The MTA will be hunting subway rats like this one after one of the notorious tunnel dwellers clawed a woman's leg on an A train near Columbus Circle.
It was seven minutes in hell!
A nasty rat was an unwelcome commuter on a rush-hour A train yesterday morning — terrorizing straphangers during the agonizingly long nonstop ride from Harlem to Midtown.
What started as a typical sleepy end-of-the-week ride between 125th Street and Columbus Circle morphed into an ¬urban nightmare when a woman listening to an iPod felt a scratching on her leg at about 8 a.m.
“I started feeling down my leg and I knew there was something furry and large crawling on my leg,” said Ana Vargas, 40, a Times Square hotel worker from Yonkers.
William C LopezAna Vargas recalls her "embarrassing" rat ordeal on the A train.
“I was yelling, ‘Help me! There’s something on my leg!’ ” she said.
At first people thought she was delusional — until fellow passengers noticed a huge, wiggling lump in her pants.
No amount of yanking could loose the writhing rodent, so Vargas had no choice but to pull them down in public.
“It was the most embarrassing moment of my life,” she said.
The scared rat scurried out onto the subway-car floor — and pandemonium broke loose.
“It was huge with a long tail,” Vargas recalled.
Riders started screaming, with many jumping on seats to avoid the vile varmint.
Worse, no one could leave the car because the end doors were locked.
“It was crazy,” said Vargas.
When the train finally arrived at Columbus Circle, she was met by cops and taken to nearby Roosevelt Hospital.
Angel ChevresttThe attack happened before the train arrived at the Columbus Circle station.
Doctors gave her a battery of meds — including anti-virus and anti-rabies shots — and treated several cuts on her leg from the rat’s sharp claws.
Her psychological wounds will likely take longer to heal.
“I don’t want to ever take the subway again,” she said.
On her way home, she dreaded using the iconic underground transit system.
“I let three A trains go by before I finally got enough courage to get on the 1 train,” she said.
It’s rare for rats to stray from the comforts of subway tunnels onto trains — but it occasionally happens.
A rider posted video on Wednesday of a rat hiding under a subway seat — also on the A train — and later climbing up a man’s leg.
The rampaging rodents have the MTA dispatching extra cleaning staff on the A line, said agency spokesman Charles Seaton.
“We just have a lot of people out there trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
The agency will also conduct added inspections to check for the furry, four-legged fiends.
It’s unclear if any of the precautions will make a difference.
YouTube.comRiders react after seeing a rat on their subway train.
The underground has seen a sharp uptick in rats in recent months, according to Transport Workers Union Local 100.
Seaton said one way to combat the problem is for straphangers to stop eating underground.
Although it’s not against the rules, the MTA asks “customers not to eat in subways or on buses, but if they do, to place their refuse in the proper receptacles,” he said.
Regular riders were horrified by news of the rat attacks.
“I don’t even know how to react to that!” said Shannon Bunch, 36, of Astoria, Queens.
Additional reporting by Dan MacLeod
YouTube.comA rat scurries up a rider's leg in video posted Wednesday on YouTube.com.