Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Smoke forces hundreds to evacuate Green Line

Smoldering cables caused hundreds of people to be evacuated from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Green Line at the Arlington Station, halting services from Kenmore Station to Government Center Station this morning, officials said.

“Smoke [was] observed about 100 feet west of Arlington Station’s inbound platform,” said Joe Pesaturo, MBTA spokesman, in an email. “Boston Fire Department has ordered power shut off while they investigate.”

Steve MacDonald, BFD spokesman, said response teams were sent out early Wednesday morning.

“We were called down to Arlington around 8 a.m,” he said. “They had an electric junction box adjacent to the track where they had the cable smoldering. The only way to put it out is to shut the power off and extinguish it.”

MacDonald said the track had to be cleared of T-riders in order for the power to be shut off.

“They shut the power off and used a dry powder to extinguish the smoldering cable,” he said. “The T’s electricians had to isolate the cable that was causing the problem.”

The whole system had to be shut down to deal with the smoke, forcing officials to close major parts of the Green Line, Pesaturo said.

“Green Line service between Kenmore and Government Center [was] temporarily suspended,” he said. “Shuttle buses were dispatched.”

The MBTA, on its website, announced a shuttle-bus plan to deal with the incident

MacDonald said the power has turned back on and no injuries were reported.

“It is a major inconvenience for the morning commute,” MacDonald said. “But that’s the only way to put out smoldering wires.”

The Green Line has since resumed normal service, Pesaturo said.

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