Washington subway hit again by electric malfunction, smoke

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 16, 2015 12:53 PM

WASHINGTON - An electrical malfunction on Friday caused smoke and delays on Washington's subway, four days after another, much more serious incident in which a passenger died, a subway spokeswoman said.

An arcing insulator caused light smoke in the Ballston subway station in Arlington, Virginia, said Caroline Laurin, a spokeswoman for the Washington Metropoitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

Emergency crews responded and the smoke was cleared in about 90 minutes, she said. There was no fire and no one was hurt.

One line was shut down, and power was shut off to one track. There were 30-minute delays in both directions, Laurin said.

On Monday, an arcing insulator filled a tunnel near Washington's L'Enfant Plaza station with smoke. A female passenger died in the incident and 84 people were sent to hospitals.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the WMATA said it may take a year to complete an investigation of Monday's accident.

The Washington-area system is the second-busiest nationally in terms of passengers carried, after New York City's subway.

(Reporting by John Clarke in Washington; Editing by Ian Simpson and David Gregorio)