Smoke incident shuts down two Metro stations during morning rush

WASHINGTON — Two Metro stations along the Red Line were shut down during the Friday morning rush hour after a scare involving smoke in a tunnel.

The smoke was reported between the Glenmont and Wheaton stations.

“Tracks were taken out of service and the fire department was notified,” Metro Spokesman Dan Stessel said in a statement.

“Both stations, Glenmont and Wheaton, were temporarily closed while the fire department investigated the source of the original smoke.”

There were numerous fire trucks parked on Georgia Avenue after the first report occurred around 6:30 a.m.

Metro riders were ushered into shuttle buses to bypass the activity and closures.

“There was a slight haze in the Wheaton station when we arrived on the scene, so obviously we had something going on,” said Pete Piringer, spokesman for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

Fire investigators looked through the tunnel, but they found nothing that would indicate a dangerous situation.

“Everything’s been determined to be safe to operate,” Piringer said.

The Glenmont and Wheaton stations opened back up around 7:30 a.m.

Montgomery County fire officials believe the smoke was likely caused by water coming into contact with an insulator. Insulators are part of the electrified third rail.

A more serious electrical malfunction involving the third rail led to the deadly smoke incident at L’Enfant Plaza in January.

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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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