BART Evacuation Prompted After Train Brakes Starts SmokingBy May Shella Mojana-Macuha on Dec 5, 2013 in United States, World •
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) evacuated hundreds of commuters after a train brake starts smoking on Wednesday morning, December 4, 2013. The evacuation prompted when some passengers complained of smoke inhalation, report says.
BART spokesman Jim Allison said in a report that the train got stuck between the Orinda and Rockridge stations about 8:30 a.m. PST after a parking brake apparently deployed accidentally in a tunnel in the hills around Berkeley.
Some passengers were treated for smoke inhalation after rescuers and firefighters were able to get to the disabled train at Oakland‘s Rockridge station where they evacuated the passengers, Bay Area’s ABC7 news reported.
Meanwhile, passengers who got off the train said in a report that it was tough to breathe because they weren’t able to open the doors to ventilate or evacuate the cars. According to BART officials, it is a standard safety procedure.
“When the ventilation system starts in the tunnel, it’s an automatic closure of the doors and that is for the safety of the personnel on the train as well as the firefighters responding,” Oakland Fire Chief Melinda Drayton was quoted saying in a report.
Drayton added that in this kind of situation, passengers have to wait inside the train because people were not allowed to be walking on or near the tracks when rescue trains enter the tunnel.
BART spokesperson Alicia Trost just happened to be among of the hundred passengers that go through the Orinda station that got stranded because their trains were stuck behind the one disabled in the tunnel. She said that they are still investigating what happened. Trost also said that there was never a fire and that what passengers were dealing with was brake dust that entered the trains.
Officials said that 600 to 700 passengers were stuck on the train for about one hour. As many as 15 passengers complained of smoke inhalation, nine were taken to the area hospitals while two people refused to be transported.
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