- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - Metro-North Railroad said it was resuming normal service Friday after completing temporary repairs to a section of an elevated track in New York City that was damaged in a fire.

The railroad said Thursday that crews had “safely completed the installation of six temporary steel columns to brace a column damaged in Tuesday’s fire.”

Passengers should be prepared for minor delays resulting from track speed restrictions, which the railroad said it hopes to clear in the coming days.

An estimated 150,000 passengers endured overcrowded, limited commutes since the blaze broke out Tuesday night at a garden center underneath Metro-North tracks in Manhattan’s East Harlem section, north of Grand Central Terminal.

The fire halted train service for hours and damaged a center column beneath a viaduct holding the elevated tracks.

“I would like to thank our customers for bearing with us during what has been a very challenging two-and-a-half-day period,” Joseph Giulietti, president of Metro-North Railroad, said in a statement.

On Wednesday, fire marshals ruled the fire an accident, saying it was caused by fuel that was spilled on a hot generator while it was being refilled. Fire Department of New York spokesman Jim Long said the department had not issued permits for the handling or storage of fuel or propane at the location.

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