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Friday, May 24, 2024
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The Tenleytown Metro station was evacuated Saturday night after reports of smoke in the tunnel (Zach Ewell/The Eagle). 

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.

Original post:

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.

WAMU 88.5's Martin Di Caro reports that, according to Metro, an arcing insulator caused the smoke at Friendship Heights. No injuries were reported, according to a tweet from the D.C. fire department.

“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.

This report will be updated as The Eagle learns more.

Zach Ewell contributed to this report.

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