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Boston, Massachusetts Local News

Train Disabled, Replaced by Shuttle Buses – NECN


An Orange Line train caught fire on the bridge over the Mystic River in Boston Thursday morning, leaving passengers to walk across the tracks on foot, video footage shows.

Smoke could be seen coming from the charred and disabled train car, which broke down just before 7 a.m. as it was approaching Assembly Station in Somerville. The MBTA didn’t say what caused the fire, only that it was disabled due to “a mechanical problem.”

The Somerville Fire Department was on scene. Power was turned off between Wellington and Assembly, the MBTA said in a statement.

Video footage posted on Twitter shows passengers getting off the train and walking down the tracks on the bridge over the Mystic River. Passengers posted photos and videos of the smoke coming from the tracks on Twitter as well.

John Gosselin described the scene to NBC10 Boston and NECN. He was staying at the Encore hotel, looking out his window, when the train caught fire.

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“I saw the train come to a stop first, then it started to spark, then it started to flame. It fully engulfed the first probably six feet of car behind the driver, then smoke started to billow all the way back on the train. Then folks started to come out the windows. It was scary there for a minute. You could not see the train, the smoke was so dark. The passengers were clearly helping each other, moving very quickly to the rear of the train.”

Gosselin said people were “physically climbing out on the city side of the train” and going out onto the track.

“I would almost describe it as an explosion,” he added. “It was a burst. It probably burned for a minute, and then after that, it was just a lot of smoke – very intense for a very short period of time.”

“People were clearly panicked and moving quickly toward the rear,” he said. “It was unclear if it was going go get any worse, but the fire burned itself out.”

As of 7:50 p.m., the train could be seen moving backward to Wellington Station.

Shuttle buses are operating between Oak Grove and Community College in the meantime. Commuters should expect delays of up to 15 minutes, the MBTA said. Trains may be asked to stand by at stations, according to the MBTA.

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No further information was immediately available.

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