A BART train became disabled inside the Transbay Tube Wednesday, leaving morning commuters crammed inside a darkened car for nearly 30 minutes before it could be manually driven back to the Oakland West station.
Jen Collins, who was one of the stranded passengers, said she could detect a strong electrical smell in her car.
"There were no lights on the first car and no air," she told KTVU. "We were smelling fumes from the train. Electrical and possibly break fumes, I'm not sure... it was very strong."
Many other BART riders posted about the experience on social media.
One Twitter user said, "Being stuck in a BART train in the transbay tube for 30 minutes this morning was pretty close to my worst commute ever."
Another rider tweeted, "On a BART train stuck in the TransBay tube, lights out, no power. This...this means that the first Kaiju attack is happening, right?"
When the train stalled, power went out in the front car, leaving some riders in the dark, BART spokeswoman Luna Salaver said.
The incident caused lengthy delays systemwide.
Salaver said the operator went to the back of the train and used the rear-car control room to move the train back to West Oakland in manual mode. The passengers were let off and took a different train into San Francisco, she said.
The tunnel was cleared shortly before 9 a.m. but residual delays lingered. As of 10:45 a.m. service was nearly back to normal but some trains were a few minutes late.
"We do not know why the lead car stopped operating," Salaver said.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.