Panic on New York subway train as woman frees crickets, worms

In one video, the woman is seen screaming uncontrollably as riders tried to console her. Actress Zaida Pugh has admitted it was a prank.YOUTUBE

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - It could have been a scene straight out of a horror movie.

A woman trying to sell crickets and worms on a crowded New York City subway car became frazzled by some teenagers and let the critters loose on riders, then urinated on herself, according to social media posts and news reports.

Riders on the subway train were locked in close quarters with the critters for half an hour during rush hour on Wednesday evening after a passenger pulled the train's emergency brake while they were on the Manhattan Bridge.

The teenagers had pushed the woman as she offered the creepy-crawlies for sale, and she tossed the container holding them into the air, the New York Post reported, citing witnesses. It was unclear if the teens pushed her accidentally.

After the crickets were set free, some of them jumped on passengers, according to the Post.

"Never seen a crowd get so panicked so fast, everyone rushed to the other side of the train," one rider, Ezra Mechaber, wrote on Twitter.

"Mass hysteria in a locked, enclosed space is something else."

Some people whipped out smartphones and began recording.

In one video posted online, the woman yelled, "Why'd you have to hit me?" and "My crickets!"

In another, the woman is seen screaming uncontrollably as riders tried to console her.

The D train, which connects the boroughs of the Bronx with Brooklyn via Manhattan, was stopped on the bridge spanning the East River. After it began moving again, police officers met the train at the next station.

No one was injured, and the woman was taken to a hospital for psychiatric observation, the New York Daily News reported.

Police did not release her name.