More than 100 teenagers were involved in a lunchtime brawl at the Eighth Street SEPTA station and three were arrested, witnesses and authorities said.
SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch said the melee erupted around noon and involved youths from the Charter High School for Architecture and Design, on the 100 block of Seventh Street, which he said had an early dismissal Friday.
Two 16-year-old boys were arrested by SEPTA police and charged with disorderly conduct, Busch said, and one other teen was arrested by Philadelphia Police. Information about that teen and charges were not immediately available. A Philadelphia Police spokesman said some of the teens attacked SEPTA officers who were trying to break up the fight.
No significant injuries were reported.
A large number of officers from both agencies were in the underground station around 12:15 p.m., after the fighting had subsided.
Jeannette Grubb, 53, said she was in the concourse when she saw a teen on the El platform jump over a turnstile and back onto the concourse to begin fighting another teen.
Within a few seconds, she said, "everybody started rumbling," until a police officer broke it up. The fighting resumed shortly afterward, she said, and that pattern was repeated several more times until the police presence intensified. She said the number of people fighting was in the dozens and appeared to take over most of the concourse.
Anthony Peralta, a SEPTA ambassador at the station, said one of the youths who was attacked appeared to be mentally ill, and that "cops were grabbing kids and throwing them on the train" to get them out of the station.
Attempts to reach representatives from the charter school were unsuccessful. Busch said it was not immediately clear what prompted the brawl.
Some social media users posted about the melee: