In article <t2utdn$3smfh$1...@news.freedyn.de
> Way to go Biden Democrats! You clowns can't even keep trains running.
SOMERVILLE, Mass. — A packed Orange Line train transporting
commuters on a bridge that runs over the Mystic River in
Somerville caught fire on Thursday morning, sending hundreds of
people scrambling for safety.
Video shared with Boston 25 News showed flames shooting from a
train car and thick smoke billowing into the air. An MBTA
spokesman said the train was approaching Assembly Station when
it caught fire around 6:45 a.m.
About 200 people were forced to evacuate the train, including a
woman who jumped into the river and others who climbed through
The woman who jumped off the train bridge swam to shore and
declined medical attention, according to the MBTA. There were no
other injuries reported.
Shuttle buses replaced service between Oak Grove and Community
College for about four hours, the MBTA said. Haverhill Line
Commuter Rail trains also made additional stops at Oak Grove to
accommodate the overflow of passengers.
Shortly after 10:30 a.m., the MBTA announced that regular
service on the Orange Line had resumed.
In a statement, the MBTA said:
This morning, an Orange Line train reported flames & smoke
coming from its head car as it traveled across the bridge
between Wellington & Assembly stations. MBTA & emergency
personnel quickly responded, shutting down power, and safely
assisting ~200 passengers from the train. A preliminary
inspection indicates a section of the sheet metal, or side
panel, on the vehicle, appears to have come in contact with the
third rail, igniting material below the car. We will be
transparent with our findings and will provide updates as they
become available. We are deeply disappointed that this incident
occurred and sincerely apologize to our riders who were on the
train, as well as to our ridership as a whole. With a more
extensive inspection already underway, we will take every
necessary step to prevent this from happening again. We
understand that this and other recent incidents have tested our
riders’ and the public’s trust. We remain committed to
prioritizing safety and reliability to deliver the service our
During an afternoon news conference, MBTA General Manager Steve
Poftak announced that a metal sill broke off the lower section
of the train and it made contact with the third rail, “causing
an ignition.” He called this latest incident “incredibly
Poftak noted that the train in question was last inspected on
June 23, 2022, and first put into service in 1980.
John Gosselin, who is staying at the nearby Encore Boston
Harbor, happened to be looking out of his hotel window as the
chaotic scene unfolded.
“The train stopped and sparks starting coming out of the front,
probably about three feet behind the driver,” Gosselin
explained. “I saw a flame and then I knew something was up...It
engulfed very, very quickly. The flames were shooting up. The
smoke got very black.”
Video shared by Vladi Ramos, a passenger on the disabled train,
showed commuters running down the tracks to get away from the
Another passenger, Gerardo Saenz, said people were “definitely
freaking out.” He added that other riders were helping people
The Federal Transit Administration and the National
Transportation Safety Board were notified. The MBTA’s track and
power departments are inspecting the infrastructure.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu issued a statement, saying, “Today’s
incident on the Orange Line is more evidence of an aging transit
system in crisis.” She also vowed to work with the state to
transform the “broken” transit agency.
In June, all new Red and Orange Line trains were pulled from
service after an out-of-service car experienced a battery
failure in the Wellington Yard.
The FTA said in a recent report that investigators found the
MBTA to be short-staffed to the point where trains were not safe
Poftak said last week that the agency is taking steps to
alleviate staff shortages and to ensure better track conditions.
An investigation into the incident remains ongoing.
See a slideshow of images below from the video captured by Vladi
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more
information becomes available.