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Metro officials rule out track conditions as cause of fire

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Metro officials on Wednesday said they had ruled out track conditions as a potential reason for a fire under a train at the Silver Spring station and were turning their focus to the train car itself.

"The investigation is focused on the possibility that metal-shielded hoses came into contact with power cables under the car body creating an electrical short," officials said. But it will take several more days before a final determination can be made.

The fire broke out at about 6 p.m. on a train at the Silver Spring station. No passengers were aboard the train

Witnesses reported seeing flames and smelling smoke. Metro said it received a report of "three small 'explosions.' "

The station was evacuated while power was cut to the third rail, so that the Montgomery County fire department could put out the fire. Service was disrupted for nearly three hours, stranding hundreds of passengers at the station until shuttles arrived.

The fire did not reach the inside of the car but damaged the undercarriage and side of the train car.

The investigation is now directed at the 1000-series rail car, which is the oldest type of car used in the transit system.

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