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Blue Line train evacuated

Morning commuters had to evacuate a Blue Line train after it apparently got entangled in a loose cable as it approached the Smithsonian Metrorail station about 8:30 Tuesday, causing a small fire.

There were no reported injuries, according to Metro spokeswoman Angela Gates.

The cable likely became wrapped around a portion of the first rail car of the train, which was heading toward Franconia-Springfield. The fire was extinguished and the customers were transferred to an Orange Line train to return to L'Enfant Plaza, according to a statement from Metro.

Passengers aboard the train involved in the incident were startled when their train stopped in the tunnel, a door suddenly opened and people ran in from the next car. Everyone jumped up, according to an eyewitness account, as a faint smell of smoke entered the train.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we hit a wire on the tracks and we are going to be recovered," the operator announced over the intercom.

Disruptions are continuing at Smithsonian because trains have to share the same track as workers recover the disabled train.

--Ann Scott Tyson

By Washington Post editors  |  February 9, 2010; 9:37 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Metro  
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Comments

I was on the train in the second to last car. Heard something odd like a screeching and then a pop. Then we began to smell smoke and you could see there was smoke starting to fill our train. It was pretty faint, but certainly enough that people began to call the train operator. We waited for about 15 minutes before another train arrived and we were taken back to L'Enfant.

Posted by: Hoya4Life | February 9, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I was in the 2nd car. I saw sparks which is normal in the metro system. But after a few seconds the sparks got brighter which was followed by a loup pop. (almost like a transfer blew) Riders who were seated on the right side of the train jumped out of their seats because of the flash and noise. It was calm till we saw an orange glow outside the train on the wall tunnel, signaling there was some type of fire. I think the fire was small enough to burn its self out.

Posted by: stan9 | February 9, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

So service is back to normal after all :)

Posted by: member8 | February 9, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I was on the train and it took the operator almost 20 minutes to tell us what was going on. The first time the operator went thru the trains, he told us that there was nothing wrong with the train. Umm hello there was smoke in the car. Metro is becoming more imcompentent by the moment.

Posted by: barakawingate | February 9, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

After I felt the "pop" of the train, the flames appeared outside of the windows, and the smoke started to fill the train. The Metro workers were pretty lax about the whole situation. I was glad that there were no injuries.

Posted by: MrArrows | February 9, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Metro workers need to start using nontechical English to describe problems. E.g., what does "recovered" mean? After riding Metro for several years I know what it means, but how about saying that the dead train has to be towed because it's not working. It doesn't surprise me that the workers were lax in regard to today's blue line problem. They simply are not getting the safety/communication idea through their heads. I just don't know what it will take to turn this system around.

Posted by: RockvilleBear | February 9, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Anyone remember what the smoke smelled like? Wood fire? Electrical? Gunpowder?

Posted by: blasmaic | February 9, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I was also on the train this morning riding in the last car. Its sad that this is my first time hearing that it was a fire. We sat on the train for more than 20 min without any metro employee saying a word. This is why I refuse to ride such a horrible system but I had to pick up my rental car today therefore, I had no choice!

Posted by: anatomy1on1 | February 9, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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