OAKLAND — An estimated 1,000 rush-hour commuters were evacuated from an underground BART train Wednesday after electrical arcing dropped ceiling tiles near a train car, cutting power and possibly starting a small fire.
There were no injuries in the 8:54 a.m. outage at the 19th Street station, according to Capt. Mike Kelly of the Oakland Fire Department.
Bay Area Rapid Transit's Concord-to-San Francisco trains resumed normal service through the 19th Street station by 11:16 a.m., according to Mike Healy, BART director of public affairs.
Kelly said an electrical arc from the train's electrified third rail hit another rail and traveled 1,000 feet down the tunnel then jumped into the metal reinforcing rods, knocking debris from the ceiling onto a train.
The falling debris may have started a small fire, Kelly said.
More than 1,000 commuters were able to leave the station through the three-car train and simply walked to the nearby 12th Street station to resume their trip into San Francisco, Kelly said.
Kelly said firefighters had the situation under control by 9:30 a.m.