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BART evacuation: Smoke billowing in BART trains, brake issues prompts delays

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A BART evacuation occurred early this Wednesday morning following threatening brake issues causing smoke to billow throughout one of the trains. Prolonged delays came as a result of the brake problem, leading a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) spokesperson to affirm to local reporters that the train in question had gotten stuck between the Rockridge and Orinda stations “once a parking brake deployed accidentally,” the Inquisitr shares this Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013.

The BART evacuation led to an approximate 600 to 700 passengers being forced to leave the train at an Oakland station. The station was announced to be “temporarily closed so firefighters could provide medical care for those who felt ill.” It was said that the smoke billowing through the train had left some passengers with coughing fits.

A potential 15 passengers required medical assistance due to smoke inhalation, notes the report. Although the exact number of people sent to the hospital over the incident remains unknown at this time, the number is believed to be somewhere between nine and 11 passengers.

It appears that prior to the BART evacuation, the issue with the incorrectly deployed parking brake began at roughly 8:22 a.m. Following a delay and other issues, “a technician eventually released the brake to get the train running on its own, and it finally reached the Rockridge station at 9:34 am,” added the press release.

Passengers were not officially evacuated from the BART train until arriving at the nearby Rockridge departure platform. Some passengers noted that the situation wasn’t handled well; they were unable to evacuate any cars or even open the train’s doors to help ventilate the smoke that continued to billow throughout the train, leading to smoky and dangerous conditions. The Oakland Fire Chief attempted to explain the situation to reporters after the incident:

“When the ventilation system starts in the tunnel, it’s an automatic closure of the doors and that is for the safety of the personnel on the train as well as the firefighters responding.”

An examination into the BART evacuation and how to prevent similar brake issues from happening in the future is already underway.

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