Tenleytown, Friendship Heights Metro stations shut down after reports of smoke
Update 10:40 p.m.: Metro rail tweeted that inspections of the track were underway to determine the cause of the smoke. In the meantime, they also tweeted that shuttle buses would replace service until the cause is determined.
Track inspections underway now following earlier smoke incident, possibly the result of electrical arcing, near Friendship Heights. #wmata— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) April 24, 2016
The root cause has not yet been determined. There were no injuries. Buses will substitute for trains until inspections are complete. #wmata— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) April 24, 2016
The Tenleytown and Friendship Heights Metro stations were evacuated on Saturday night, after reports of "heavy smoke" inside tunnels. Red Line rail service between Van Ness and Medical Center stations is suspended.
According to police officers at Tenleytown, smoke filled the Metro rail tunnels, prompting six fire trucks to respond.
“We were riding along, and then all of a sudden, the train stops, and we don’t know what’s happening,” said Alex Goodell, 18, outside the Tenleytown station. “All hell breaks loose, people start jumping over the seats, shoving, yelling, cursing, all that."
Goodell added that he sat with the other passengers on the floor of the car for about five minutes, and then the rail car slowly moved backwards towards the Tenleytown Metro station, where all of the passengers in his car disembarked safely.
Goodell, who is visiting from Washington state, said that an unidentified man initially started yelling for everyone to move into the next car, panicking passengers. Then, he said, he could smell, “burning electricity.” A metro employee then entered the car and told everyone to move forward, prompting an anxious rush towards the door.
“I’ve honestly never been in a situation like that before, so it was very freaky. I had to try not to panic for myself and for my parents,” Goodell said.
Passengers reported seeing fire illuminating tunnel walls. One tried to escape rail car, allowing smoke to rush in. https://t.co/AD651T2RbY— Martin Di Caro (@MartinDiCaro) April 24, 2016
Heavy smoke conditions reported around 7:15p - at Friendship Heights @wmata stations - centered around insulator on fire at the platform.— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) April 24, 2016
No injuries /transports - getting ready to hand things over to @wmata - still some smoke issues between Friendship Heights & Tenleytown/AU.— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) April 24, 2016
This report will be updated as The Eagle learns more.
Zach Ewell contributed to this report.