Metro Officials Oddly Quiet After ‘Smoldering Debris Fire’ Injures Commuter


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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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Officials with the D.C. Metro left riders in confusion after smoke appeared to engulf the tracks at the Gallery Place metro station Monday, sending one person to the hospital.

Metro officials never released a statement on the smoke incident clarifying what occurred. Some officials told news outlets the smoke was caused by a “smoldering debris fire” or “smoldering stud-bolt” on the tracks, but officials did not elaborate. The incident caused what appeared to be massive amounts of smoke flowing into the station at Gallery Place in Chinatown, reports WJLA.

The incident happened during rush-hour, causing hour long delays along the green and yellow lines. A rider went to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Riders described a chaotic scene, attributing the incident to a track fire.

“It’s actually not accurate to call this a fire,” Dan Stessel, a spokesman for the D.C. Metro, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “This was an electrical arc, which is a discharge of current when electricity jumps across a gap in a circuit. While the incident remains under investigation and a final cause has not been concluded, in this case, the point of arcing appears to be a rail fastener, which is a part that holds the rail in place.”

Officials said the fastener was sent to a lab to be tested and all other necessary repairs to ensure track safety were completed last night. Officials added that pictures and videos of the incident showing smoke were actually caused by fire extinguishers.

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