CBC viewer Ben Bahreini was one of about 1,400 passengers aboard a northbound GO Transit train forced to stop as a massive flood hit the city during Monday’s evening commute.
The train left downtown Toronto headed for Richmond Hill at 5:30 p.m. About 30 minutes into the journey, the train became bogged down as a downpour hit the region with record floods. The water soon rose above the level of the train's wheels, forcing it to stop.
With the train bogged down on the tracks near Bayview and Pottery Road, water began seeping into the coach, forcing passengers to pull up their feet or move to the coach's upper seating area.
With chest-high water surrounding the train, the passengers could do nothing but try to stay dry while awaiting rescue in sweltering humidity.
About 30 minutes later, the situation became more surreal when Bahreini saw a snake slithering over the surface of the water.
"I texted my wife and said 'there's a snake on the train,'" Bahreini told CBC News. The incident reminded stranded passengers of a 2006 film starring Samuel L. Jackson.
"People were joking about it, saying it's like that movie, Snakes on a Plane," said Bahreini.
To provide proof to his doubtful wife that there was indeed a snake aboard, Bahreini shot a video of it on his cellphone.
Some passengers joked, some 'a bit squeamish'
Bahreini said though some passengers "were a bit squeamish" about the snake, he said its appearance provided a bit of levity for most of the stranded passengers.
Bahreini was rescued from the train at 11 p.m. but it wasn’t until 12:30 a.m. Tuesday when the last of the passengers were rescued by police and firefighters using small inflatable boats.
Ambulance officials at the scene said five or six people were treated for minor injuries but did not need to be taken to hospital.