By Olivia Scheck and Tom Liddy
UPPER EAST SIDE - Four people were injured when pepper spray was unleashed in the subway Wednesday afternoon, witnesses and officials said.
The release of the noxious gas on the platform of the Lexington Avenue line at 59th Street around 6:20 p.m. sent straphangers scurrying for fresh air.
"I came back from my lunch break and there was a crowd of people rushing out," said an MTA worker, who did not want to be identified.
"They tried to push me back up, but I said I've got to get down there."
Saimun Ahsa, a newsstand worker in the station, said: "There were a lot of people coming up coughing. You could smell it.
"I stayed, but I drank water."
One person was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital. Three others were treated and released at the scene, officials said.
It's not clear what sparked the release or if there was any criminality in the incident.