‘Getting tough to breathe’: Smoke fills MBTA station as damaged wires delay Green Line

BOSTON (WHDH) - Exposed wires sent smoke and sparks through the Park Street MBTA station and delayed service on the Green Line Tuesday, a day after a scathing report found “safety is not the priority” at the MBTA.

Cellphone video and photos showed overhead wires sparking between Boylston and Park Street stations, and thick smoke pouring into Park Street.

Service was suspended and then delayed between Park and Haymarket for two hours.

MBTA officials said a trough containing electrical wires was the source of the sparks and smoke, but the cause is still under investigation.

Kyron Owens, who works in Boston’s Office of Emergency Management, took video of the smoke and said he wanted to let people know what was happening in the absence of alerts from the T.

“Folks were confused, they weren’t sure what was going on, and there were no alerts being made that there was a problem, that people should be evacuating,” Owens said. “It was just a very scary time. You just see this cloud of smoke, you can’t see into the tunnel, you can’t see if a train was even coming and then it’s just starting to really fill the station.”

Owens said he later told people they should evacuate, especially when the smoke became unbearable.

“It was getting tough to breathe,” Owens said.

The breakdown comes a day after an outside group blasted the MBTA for not making safety a priority. The panel found critical inspections and preventative maintenance were not being performed and took aim at the T’s culture of blame and retaliation.

Owens said he relies on the T and needs it to be safe.

“It’s just very troubling,” Owens said. “I have a 2-year-old son that I take on the train every day to and from work, that’s my primary mode of transportation. So I just want to make sure we have a reliable system in the Commonwealth.”



(Copyright (c) 2019 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)