The MBTA is Massachusetts’ government-operated public transport authority responsible for providing its services throughout various locations in Boston. On Sunday afternoon, riders at the MBTA’s Park Street Station witnessed sparks due to an electrical wire making direct contact with tracks. As a result of the catastrophe, the entire station was evacuated for the rider’s safety.
Ian Mallory, a local rider waiting for the train on the platform, stated that he saw the roof of a Green Line B-Branch train explode with sparks, and the interconnected power lines started to spark and cause explosions. Mallory also stated that smoke started to come in strongly and fill the station. He also heard repeated explosions as he rushed to the nearest exit.
A WBUR reporter on the platform could see yellow sparks spurt out from the top of the Green Line train onto the platform, where passengers were standing. Despite the dangerous malfunction, no injuries were reported, and all riders successfully escaped the Park Street Station.
Arthur Mansavage, a rider who filmed the incident, stated that people initially thought the explosions were actually gunshots, as they sounded very similar. Mansavage, an 18-year-old Emerson College student traveling on the Red Line to arrive at Park Street Station, observed an approaching Green Line train letting off sparks from the roof section towards its rear side.
“But as the train filled up, sparks and smoke began to erupt from its rear, and MBTA employees started yelling at people to get off the train,” Mansavage said to the Boston Globe.
Jason Braga, a lifelong MBTA passenger, was on a Green Line from Government Center as he witnessed sparks coming from the top of the train and was forced to exit at Park Street Station as soon as possible. Jason did not exit the station immediately, as he observed in awe. He also stated that he heard three loud explosions within the Park Street Station. Upon hearing more explosions, he sprinted out of the station while cautioning other passengers to make it to the nearest exits. He walked the rest of his journey to Kenmore, shocked by the events that had just transpired.
Jason also expressed his anger at the repetition of such malfunctions with the MBTA that compromise passenger safety. This also influences delays, as many riders depend on public transportation to make it to and return home from their occupation.
Not too long ago, a passenger was killed due to a malfunctioning door on one of the MBTA’s Red Line trains, and another recent incident from last month saw an MBTA bus go up in flames at Jamaica Plain. As these malfunctions repeatedly occur, commuters think about whether their safety is compromised every time they decide to use the MBTA services.
An MBTA update on Sunday afternoon stated that shuttle buses were dispatched to replace the service between Kenmore and Government Center due to the green line malfunction, and passengers were informed to expect delays.
Another MBTA representative also stated that the fallen wiring did not cause any fires, and occurred on the westbound track on the east side of the station. But the maintenance department of the MBTA got straight to work, as they declared that seven affected stations were back to normal by 10:30 pm on the same day. Locals also believe that the Orange Line shutdown contributes to this series of mishaps occurring with the MBTA.