Friday 28 July 2017

Chaotic scenes: Commuters break windows to flee smoke-filled train in Boston

Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

Commuters were forced to break windows in order to flee a smoke-filled train in Boston on Wednesday.

Five people were treated for smoke inhalation after an Orange Line train’s motor overheated, causing riders to panic and break windows to escape, officials and witnesses said.

Chris Herring told the Boston Globe that he was entering the station when he saw people trying to flee the area.

“I noticed a haze coming from the platform and got to the top of the stairs and people were running up,” Herring said in a direct message via Twitter. “[There was] thick smoke on platform. People had to get freed from the train.”

Herring said he then heard a popping sound, and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority workers asked everyone to evacuate.

The incident occurred at 4:40 pm on Wednesday.

In a statement train officials said:

"The doors on the subway remained closed because the train was moving away from the platform.

“Doors did not malfunction. The motor person had begun promptly opening doors to allow passengers to evacuate safely, away from (the) live third rail,” the statement said.

The agency addressed the issue of passengers’ chaotic exit from the train.

“Because no announcement had been made on the intercom, some passengers, understandably, began to self-evacuate through windows,” the statement said.

According to the Boston Globe five passengers were treated at the station for minor injuries and three were taken to a hospital. None of their injuries was life-threatening, said Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green.

Train officials said it will investigate the incident.

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