SAN FRANCISCO—Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains caused major delays for thousands of Bay Area commuters after a fire broke out at approximately 4:30 a.m., on a three-car commuter train with 50 passengers on board on Thursday, July 9.
The train was heading northbound from Richmond to Fremont when the East Bay train caught fire. The back of the train filled with smoke, injuring three of the passengers. Two passengers sustained physical injuries to the hand and back respectively, while another passenger was taken to the hospital due to asthmatic symptoms from smoke inhalation. Passengers evacuated onto the tracks as the train came to a stop near the Fruitvale station.
Power was turned off on rails, causing BART stations—San Leandro, Lake Merritt, Fruitvale, and the Coliseum to be closed for nearly five hours from 4:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m.; BART air trams running to and from the Oakland International Airport were also halted as a result of the power closure. The fire resulted in a 60-foot segment of the train rails to be replaced in the early afternoon.
BART is currently conducting an extensive investigation of the incident. The San Francisco News reached out to the BART Police Department to inquire the cause of the fire, and no official findings had been reported as of July 9 at 8:30 p.m..