Commuters evacuate MARC train during fire

November 28, 1990|By Susan Schoenberger

More than 400 commuters were forced to evacuate a MARC train in Laurel during the evening rush hour yesterday as firefighters extinguished a fire on the underside of one of the train's four cars.

Prince George's County fire officials said the Maryland Rail Commuter service train, traveling from Washington to Baltimore, stopped at a station at the corner of Lafayette and Main streets in Laurel after smoke was seen coming from underneath one of the cars. The 410 passengers were evacuated from the train as firefighters from Prince George's, Anne Arundel and Howard counties put out the fire. No one was injured, but two of the cars were damaged.

Officials from Prince George's County said that the fire began in the electrical traction motor that drives the wheels of the self-propelled commuter train, which has no separate engine.

The motor may have overheated, or an electrical short could have caused the fire, officials said.

Northbound train traffic was delayed for about an hour as the smoking motor was doused, officials said. Two additional cars were brought in and attached to the two undamaged cars to take passengers on the remainder of the trip to Baltimore.

An investigation into the incident will be conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.