T Beefs Up Inspections in Wake of Orange Line Evacuation

Evacuation of an Orange Line train at State Street, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. Credit: Heather Parker via Twitter @hparker

Heather Parker via Twitter @hparker

Evacuation of an Orange Line train at State Street, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. Credit: Heather Parker via Twitter @hparker

An incident Tuesday night in which a long metal panel fell off a Forest Hills-bound Orange Line train, producing acrid smoke and leading passengers to push out windows to escape, has prompted T officials to add new inspections to the regular maintenance of the aging fleet.

The general manager of the system, Frank DePaola, released a statement on Wednesday describing in detail what happened Tuesday at State Street Station and what steps the T is taking to ensure passenger safety. The whole thing is worth a read, but here are key points:

  • The cause of the smoke Tuesday was a 12-inch by 12-foot panel falling off one train. The train ran over the panel, sparking an arc and smoke. A second train also ran over the panel, with similar results.
  • No injuries were reported from Tuesday’s incident.
  • T employees will now add checks of bolts and rivets on body panels to the regular checks they are supposed to make every two months or so.
  • Frightened passengers of the second train pushed out the windows to get out of the train. The doors were not open because the train hadn’t been able to pull all the way in to State Street station.