Disabled BART Train Delivers Passengers for Medical Care at Rockridge

By MelissaMcRobbie/SashaLekach (BCN)
Wednesday December 04, 2013 - 10:48:00 AM

A BART train that became disabled between the Rockridge and Orinda stations this morning because of a smoky brake problem is now at the Rockridge station, where passengers have been let off the train.  

"All passengers have been evacuated and those in need of medical care are being treated by Oakland Fire Department personnel," BART spokesman Jim Allison said.  

The Oakland firefighters' union tweeted that fire personnel were assisting 10 patients, "with more being triaged." 

BART spokeswoman Luna Salaver said that at about 8:15 a.m., a San Francisco International Airport-bound train on the Pittsburg-Bay Point line suffered a parking brake failure. 

The incident created "brake dust" and caused some smoking, and the train became disabled, blocking the tracks, she said. She compared the smoke to that created when a driver slams on the brakes of a car.  

"There was absolutely no fire on the train," Salaver said. 

As of 9:05 a.m., the passengers remained stranded on the stopped train in the Berkeley Hills tunnel. 

The platform of the Rockridge station was cleared out in anticipation of the disabled train eventually coming in. 

The train eventually began moving again and reached the Rockridge station shortly after 9:30 a.m., Allison said.  

"A technician on board the train has been able to get it moving under its own power," he said. 

Two "rescue trains" that had been dispatched to assist passengers who were stuck on the disabled train have been canceled because they are no longer necessary, Allison said. 

Crowds of commuters stood outside the station waiting to take BART to work.  

An employee at the Cactus Taqueria on College Avenue across the street from the Rockridge station said the station's entrances were blocked by paramedics and firefighters. 

She said there were groups of people waiting on the sidewalk. A person on the disabled train tweeted at 8:32 a.m. that there was some smoke in the train car. 

Shortly after 9 a.m., that person tweeted, "Train operator calling for a doctor now... We are chatting in our car otherwise in good spirits." 

Salaver said there were major delays of up to 30 minutes in both directions on the Pittsburg-Bay Point line.