David Mariutto, 26, of Northeast Washington, said he was on the Green Line platform at Gallery Place when he began to see smoke. He said many passengers were still coming down the escalators despite the odor and visible haze.
Finally, he decided to take a Red Line train home rather than wait for a Yellow Line train to take him to Pentagon City, where he had planned to make a pit stop at the mall.
“The Red Line was still stopping and unloading at Gallery Place while the station was filling with smoke,” he said. On the lower level, he said, “even after they announced a track problem, there was no staff actively trying to get people off the platform.”
D.C. Fire and EMS said the platform was later evacuated.
Gallery Place Metro station has reopened, following a track fire that led the station to be evacuated earlier Monday night. Green and Yellow Line trains continue to bypass the station, however.
Metro says Red Line trains are servicing the station. Riders should expect continued delays in both directions.
Passengers said they were standing on the lower-level platform of the station when they began to smell smoke. Caitlin Dysart, 33, of Northwest Washington, said she was waiting for a Green Line train when she spotted a light haze, about 6 p.m.
“I saw that and figured, ‘no way, I’m getting out of here,'” she said. “A lot of people were still going in.”
The Gallery Place Metro station is closed after a fire broke out during the Monday evening rush on tracks shared by the Green and Yellow Lines, Metro said.
The fire was caused by smoldering debris on the track bed, according to D.C. Fire and EMS.
D.C. Fire spokesman Doug Buchanan said Metro personnel had put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. One passenger, who came up the escalator at 7th and F streets, reported possible smoke inhalation, but it was unknown if she would be transported to the hospital, Buchanan said.
The department said the fire was out and smoke was dissipating. Buchanan said the station’s Green and Yellow Line platform was evacuated, and trains in the vicinity were also offloaded.
Green and Yellow Line trains were bypassing Gallery Place on Monday night due to a report of a track problem, according to Metro. Riders reported seeing a small fire on the tracks shortly before 6 p.m.
Metro said D.C. Fire and EMS was en route to the station. The agency said to expect delays and crowded stations.
The agency said trains were single-tracking between L’Enfant Plaza and Mt. Vernon Square.
We will update as we hear more.