BART experienced major delays on Thursday morning after a smoking car heading to Richmond was discovered, injuring some and frustrating commuters trying to get to work during the early morning rush.
A smoking car at the back of a three-car BART train heading to Richmond was the cause of the problem, first reported about 4:30 a.m., a BART police watch commander said. The train powered down just south of the Fruitvale station in Oakland so that fire crews could investigate. Maintenance crews restored service just before 9 a.m., and BART tweeted "Thank you Bay Area, for your understanding this morning."
Some passengers were injured, BART said, though the nature of their injuries were unclear. NBC Bay Area spotted a few people being taken away by ambulance.
Spokesman Jill Allison said there was no service between Lake Merritt and Bay Fair Stations, and BART riders were asked to use other means of transportation if traveling on the Fremont Line. BART had also closed the Lake Merritt, Fruitvale, Coliseum, and San Leandro Stations.
A BART commuter in Fremont was more than frustrated.
"It's terrible," the man who identified himself only as Sidney said. "It's a big, big problem. There's no other way to get to San Francisco. This is the United States for goodness sake."
#bart just restored limited service in #eastbay. Trains in affected area traveling at 25 mph. https://t.co/at9hX5PTwt— Bob Redell (@BobNBC) July 9, 2015
#WooHoo! Back on the tracks but schedule still NOT back on track. #Recovering https://t.co/33sf51nxiJ— Mike Inouye (@MikeyNoWay) July 9, 2015
UPDATE: BART Has Restored Service Between Bay Fair and Lake Merritt Stations. Expect Residual Delays Systemwide.— 511 Bay Area (@511SFBay) July 9, 2015
Stress & frustration among commuters stranded by #bart train fire near #fruitvale station pic.twitter.com/pRC7LrNDol— Bob Redell (@BobNBC) July 9, 2015
#BART status: "There is no service between Lake Merritt and Bay Fair Stations." Affecting Green, Blue and Orange BART lines. (5:36a)— Mike Inouye (@MikeyNoWay) July 9, 2015
Back up at the #BayBridge already starting as system wide #BART delays. Smoke on a train delayed lines. No injuries fire crews investigating— Laura Garcia Cannon (@LauraGarciaCann) July 9, 2015
To make matters worse, he had dropped off his car for repair on Wednesday night and had no other way to get to work. He hopped on his phone trying to find a friend to pick him up.