Orange Line evacuation is latest MBTA disaster
An MBTA Orange Line train caught fire Thursday morning, causing hundreds of passengers to evacuate along the tracks and one person to jump off a bridge into the Mystic River.
Driving the news: WCVB reported that smoke and flames were spotted billowing from a subway car as the train was stopped on the Dana Bridge, which separates the Assembly area in Somerville from the Wellington stop across the river in Medford.
- An MBTA spokesperson said in a statement that a person jumped into the river to escape the train, and was picked up by public safety personnel.
- Social media posts showed passengers climbing out of windows to escape the smoking train.
What they're saying: "It's not the first time I've heard the train catch on fire either. It's awful, but it's kind of our daily life here in Boston taking the train," Nick Andreucci, who helped fellow passengers get out, told 7 News.
Details: According to the MBTA, the first car in the train started smoking at 6:45am.
- MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said the fire started when a piece of train car came loose and struck the electrified third rail, according to CBS Boston.
The big picture: This incident is just the latest in a series of safety problems that have plagued the aging MBTA.
- The T is facing major scrutiny from federal safety overseers and lawmakers on Beacon Hill.
- Staffing shortages have forced the T to reduce service while managers scramble to hire more dispatchers.
- New Orange Line cars are slowly being introduced to replace the existing 41-year-old subway trains, but the new cars have encountered safety problems of their own.
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