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Smoke Fills Ballston Metro Station Tunnel

  • July 2, 2019
  • KBA Attorneys
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This morning commuters using the Orange and Silver lines on the Metro were met with delays after a train’s brake malfunction caused smoke to fill the tunnels of the Ballston Metro Station.

Commuters Are Delayed After Malfunction

Metrorail Info and MetroHero Alerts, via Twitter, advised metro riders to expect residual delays to New Carrollton and Largo Town Center. The smoke coming from the malfunctioning train smelled of burning rubber and filled the metro tunnel. One commuter tweeted about the delay, mentioning that first responders were investigating the scene. According to ARLNow, emergency vehicles and firefighters were sent to the metro tunnel around 8:45 a.m. this morning. 

“I could smell it going down,” said Ashley McMahon, a commuter who decided not to wait around for the train to be fixed and called for an Uber to get to work. “There was a lot of people.”

Riders Should Remain Cautious

This brake malfunction may seem like a minor issue to some, but this incident occurred only a few days after the 10-year anniversary of the deadliest crash in DC Metro history. On June 22, 2009, a southbound Red Line Metro train collided with another train after sensors in the tracks malfunctioned. The Red Line train operator, Jeanice McMillan, slammed the emergency brakes as fast as she could when she saw the other train, but it was too late. 80 passengers were injured while McMillan and 8 other passengers were killed from the impact. 

If McMillan hadn’t slammed the emergency brakes, many more passengers may have been killed. Whether or not the brake malfunction from today’s incident could endanger the lives of future commuters is currently unknown and limited information is unavailable at the time. However, it is safe to say that all commuters deserve to feel safe while riding the Metro and officials should take this morning’s delay as a sign to perform routine maintenance on the trains.

Injured While Riding the DC Metro?

Injuries from the Metro are often severe and in some cases fatal. The personal injury lawyers at KBA Attorneys fight for the financial recovery of Metro accident victims. These accidents can be a tragic train collision that injures multiple passengers or an accident that only affects one individual. Some common causes of Metro accidents include (but not limited to):

  • Train collisions
  • Derailments
  • Negligent operators
  • Operator error
  • Operator fatigue
  • Trains using excessive speed
  • Poorly maintained trains
  • Improperly switched lines
  • Violations of ADA Accessibility requirements
  • Defective elevators

The smoke from today’s malfunction could have negatively affected someone’s health if that person required immediate medical attention and could not get to a hospital in time because of an unexpected Metro delay. Situations such as this constitute a DC Metro personal injury lawsuit.

Compensation for Metro Injury

An accident on the Metro or on WMATA property can cause both physical and financial problems. If a rider is injured because of a brake malfunction or smoke in the tunnel, this person could work with a Metro accident lawyer to hold the responsible parties liable. Common compensation for injuries that could be sustained in a metro accident includes:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Costs associated with canceled trips or altered plans

Contact Our Metro Accident Lawyers

If you have suffered from any type of injury while on the Metro or on WMATA property, contact our DC Metro lawyers today. We can help you through the complex litigation process of a lawsuit and help you find financial compensation for your pain and suffering.

Contact KBA Attorneys today to speak with our legal team.


Airey, “Smoke Fills Ballston Metro Station Tunnel, Causing Delays”, ARLNow, https://www.arlnow.com/2019/07/02/smoke-fills-ballston-metro-station-tunnel-causing-delays/. Accessed July 2, 2019.