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Passengers evacuate Red Line train after cart was pushed onto tracks near Quincy Central Station – Boston News, Weather, Sports

QUINCY, MASS. (WHDH) – Red Line riders were forced to evacuate after a shopping cart on the tracks caused a plume of white smoke to fill the tunnel near Quincy Center Station on Thursday afternoon.

Jarrad Van Stan was on the train at the time and witnessed the panic that unfolded.

“All of a sudden, thick white smoke starts coming out of the front of the car and people start saying ‘oh, there’s smoke coming in,'” Van Stan said. “They all started running in my direction because that’s where the smoke was heading. It was thick, it was like you couldn’t see through it.

Once passengers began banging on the windows, Van Stan said he pulled a lever that forced one of the doors open, letting the fleeing passengers slip out of the carriage.

As his fellow riders enacted their exit strategy, Jim Warshauer decided he had to find the exit as well.

“The car in front of us was able to reach the gap between the cars and start jumping,” Warshauer said. “At this point we are not getting off the train, we are evacuating the train.”

According to Warshauer, it was a chaotic scene – only one that could have been mitigated by an MBTA presence.

“You know, it would have been a lot better if someone was there to say, ‘OK, it’s okay. Do you need a helping hand? Someone grabbing your arm if you needed it, something.

From Van Stan’s perspective, it appeared that MBTA officials were more focused on the basket on the tracks than on the passengers randomly exiting the train.

“Everyone was looking at that shopping cart and all the smoke coming out from under the train,” Van Stan said. “No one was watching all of us in the cars. Guess we just had to figure out how to get out ourselves.

The incident happened on the same day that a fire on the Orange Line forced an evacuation on the train tracks over the Mystic River, and is just the latest in a series of incidents to which the MBTA was faced this year.

“It’s kind of laughable from what I saw today,” Warshauer said. “Their response must be unambiguous and automatic. They should know immediately that the first protocol is to take care of the passengers and that everything else should be secondary to that, and certainly not ignore us.

MBTA officials said the delay lasted about 10 minutes.

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