The PJ Tatler

[RAW VIDEO] Panic as D.C. Metro Fills With Smoke

One woman has died and two people are in critical condition after a tunnel on the Yellow Line of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) filled with smoke on Monday afternoon, trapping riders on a pitch black train for 40 minutes until help could arrive. More than eighty passengers were transported to area hospitals for treatment of their injuries related to the incident.

The NTSB said on Monday night that the suspected cause of the smoke was an “electrical arcing event” that occurred approximately 1,100 feet in front of the train, causing it to come to a sudden stop shortly after pulling out of the L’Enfant Plaza station. L’Enfant Plaza was evacuated while authorities investigated the cause of the smoke.

Metro rider Jonathan Rogers posted pictures and video (including the raw footage above) of the terrifying ride on Twitter.

 

 

Rogers told the Washington Post, “You could see smoke coming through the doors. It started to get scary pretty quick.”

In the grainy video from the darkened train riders can be heard coughing as the Metro operator urges them to remain calm, instructing them not to open the doors. “If you open the doors the train will not move,” the operator said.

The Washington Post reported:

“People started praying,” [Rogers] said. “Smoke was coming in pretty steadily. Some people were fine and some people were just hurting pretty quickly.”

He said a man standing next to him, started having breathing problems and sank to the floor.

Passengers watched out for each other, sharing inhalers with those who were having trouble breathing, he said. After a few more minutes, another woman standing near him said she couldn’t breathe and then passed out. Rogers and other passengers took turns giving her CPR.

“We just kept doing (CPR), maybe 25 minutes . . . we just kept going. Somebody helped carry her toward the back of the train – that was before the fire fighters arrived.”

Another rider, Adjoa Adofo, told the Washington Post, “People were panicking. We didn’t know what to do and and we weren’t getting a lot of information.”

Alec Dubois, a freshman at Gonzaga University, told WJLA, “People were freaking out, going everywhere. The conductor was telling us to stay calm. He said he was trying to get our train back to the station.” Dubois added, “We had no cell service. I was trying to call my parents. And then there was black stuff everywhere, it was all over my pants, too. It was under our noses. We have no idea what it was.”

Eventually firefighters arrived and escorted passengers on foot back to the L’Enfant Metro station, about 800 feet away.

WMATA restored service to most lines by 8 p.m. Monday night, but service disruptions continue in some areas as the investigation continues.

More pictures on the next page: