WASHINGTON - A Metro power outage at the Georgia Ave-Petworth station forced hundreds of passengers to trek through a tunnel to get to safety Tuesday night.
The Georgia Ave-Petworth and Columbia Heights stations were closed while Green and Yellow Line train service was suspended between U Street and Fort Totten due to the loss of power. Train service was fully restored at around 11 p.m.
More than 100 firefighters responded to Metro station as they helped evacuate more than 200 passengers on board the train. The firefighters helped escort small groups of 25 people out to safety while the entire ordeal lasted nearly two hours.
One passenger said she walked nearly two football fields in a dark tunnel before emerging at the Metro station. At least six buses were filled with passengers who were evacuated during this scare, including a pregnant woman.
“As we were riding on the train, it just stopped,” one passenger told FOX 5. “A few minutes later, they said that we had lost power and they were working on it. About 10 to 15 minutes later, they told us the power was still off and they may have a way for us to get out, which was to come get us, walk us down the train tracks, which they did.”
Metro is still investigating what caused the power issue that happened during the middle of the evening rush hour. We are told in an abundance of caution, all electricity to the third rail was turned off.
According to their preliminary investigation, Metro says the problem appears to be related to the failure of a remote terminal unit that helps remotely control various systems, including power.
A District spokesperson said there was one person who was complaining of shortness of breath, but declined medical attention.
This incident comes one day after a transformer providing power to Metro's Blue, Orange and Silver lines near the Stadium-Armory station caught fire and as Pope Francis arrived in town on Tuesday.
Latest updates: @Metrorail on Twitter