D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Tim Wilson said the smoke came from brakes on one of the trains due to friction, and a further investigation is underway. The train has been removed from the system and was sent to the Brentwood yard. Wilson said the smoke dissipated in about 30 minutes.
Stessel said the train with faulty brakes moved out of the station under its own power. “The issue is resolved,” he said around 12:45 p.m.
Riders who were on the train and in the station described the situation as frightening, with a loud noise and a flash of light followed by smoke. Photographs posted on Twitter appeared to show smoke in the Woodley Park station, and riders were reporting that they were asked to offload the train and exit the station quickly.
That the episode Saturday put passengers on edge is unsurprising, given last month’s incident involving an electrical malfunction that filled a Metro tunnel with smoke just south of the District’s L’Enfant Plaza. A woman died and dozens were injured as they waited for help to arrive.
Wilson said emergency officials received calls for smoke in the Woodley Park station at 12:10 p.m. on Saturday; emergency crews arrived quickly and found that no one was injured.
Some Capitals fans, on their way to a 1 p.m. game at Verizon Center against the New York Islanders, were removed from the trains and said the issue caused them to miss a portion of the first period.
The Metro delays came as snow was beginning to pick up strength across the region, and accumulation by mid-afternoon Saturday led to 30- to 60-minute Metrobus delays throughout the Metro region. Trains weren’t affected because snow must be above eight inches to have impact on above-ground train services, Stessel said.