A fire ignited under an eastbound BART train near Orinda station Wednesday evening, forcing passengers to evacuate the vehicle as the station filled with smoke and causing traffic to back up on a nearby highway as onlookers slowed down when passing by.
Smoke was reported on the train at 6:08 p.m. and the train stopped at the Orinda station and went out of service, BART police Lt. Tyrone Forte said. Passengers were evacuated.
Firefighters arrived at the station at about 6:20 p.m. and were attending to the fire, Forte said. Smoke was still visible coming from the train as of 6:40 p.m.
The incident caused major delays along the Pittsburg/Bay Point line and the San Francisco International Airport line, BART officials said.
Trains were running through the Orinda station without stopping and a bus bridge was set up between the Orinda and Lafayette stations.
The incident also caused heavy traffic backups along eastbound state Highway 24 through the Caldecott Tunnel as onlookers watched the train smoking along the platform, which sits between the two sides of the highway.
BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said. said shortly after 8 p.m. that trains were once again stopping at the Orinda station but that the disabled train would remain there until about 9 p.m.
Trost said the smoke was coming from a semiconductor box but did not say why it began smoking. She said it is not related to a reenactment held earlier Wednesday of an accident that killed two workers on the tracks Saturday.
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