Nine People Taken to Hospital After Morning BART Incident

December 4, 2013 13:27 pm · 8 comments

BART service is getting back to normal after a train experienced a brake failure and became disabled in the Berkeley Hills tunnel this morning in an incident that sent nine passengers to hospitals.

The incident started around 8:20 a.m. when a parking brake deployed in error on a train bound for San Francisco International Airport on the Pittsburg-Bay Point line, according to BART spokesman Jim Allison.

The train became disabled, blocking the tracks, and a “brake dust” filled some of the cars, BART spokeswoman Luna Salaver said. “There was absolutely no fire on the train,” Salaver said.

There were 600 to 700 passengers on the train at the time, and they were in the Berkeley Hills tunnel until the mechanical issues were resolved and the train began moving again about an hour later, Allison said.

“Rescue trains” had initially been deployed to assist the stranded passengers, but were canceled after a technician got the disabled train to move on its own, according to Allison.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m., the train arrived at the Rockridge station, where Oakland firefighters assisted passengers who had requested medical attention, Allison said.

Oakland fire Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton said medical crews treated 11 passengers at the station. Nine of those people were taken to hospitals.

Two of the nine were having difficulty breathing, she said. One passenger was semi-conscious when taken off the train, Drayton said.

Passenger Angela Moore, 32, had gotten on the train around 7:45 a.m. at the Pittsburg-Bay Point station.

She was headed to the 12th Street station in Oakland but when the train went into the tunnel it stopped. She said her train car, which was in the middle of the train, smelled like smoke.

The train sat for about a long time in the tunnel. “I wanted it to be over,” she said. A train operator came to her car and told passengers to stay calm, and told those affected by the smoky conditions to move to cars closer to the front or back, she said.

Once at the Rockridge station, she was evaluated by Oakland fire medical personnel. They offered to take her to the hospital after she said she wasn’t feeling well, but she declined.

Instead, she was waiting for her husband to pick her up at Rockridge and take her to her own doctor. She said her throat feels scratchy and it feels like she needs to cough. She also has a headache, she said.

The Orinda and Rockridge stations were closed while the train was stuck in the tunnel, and crowds of commuters stood outside the stations waiting to take BART to work.


1 Walter White December 4, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Let the lawsuits begin.

2 ANON December 4, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Wait–hold the train
Let me get down there now…I as on the train..honest I was
I am having trouble breathing and seeing and I am having ED issues–can I sue BART ??
NO ?? ok..thanks

3 Denise December 4, 2013 at 2:50 PM

I hope everyone is all right. I was on a BART train that caught on fire in the 90′s. It over 3 hrs. to get to Oakland. I didn’t feel like working that day anyway.

Actually, it was kind of scary….

4 BigBob December 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM

anyone else find it awfully suspicious that BART has had at least 1 issue a week since Management returned the contact back to the $EIU union? Can’t help but think the $EIU union is behind these disruptions.


5 Steve December 4, 2013 at 3:06 PM

There’s something not right about the time stamps in the article. I was on the 8:07 train from Concord and we made it through the tunnel with no delays.

It sounds like this was the 8:02 out of Pittsburg

6 Elwood December 4, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Strange how those old trains are breaking down now when the unions really have their tail feathers in a twist. In the most recent fire it was discovered that some cooling parts were missing. I wonder what could have happened to them.

And a piece fell off a train in the transbay tunnel. Today it’s the east bay hills tunnel.

Just strangely coincidental I guess.

7 concord resident December 4, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Time is wrong. I saw the empty train and firefighters at the rockridge platform at about 9:05am.

8 Sandy Eggo December 6, 2013 at 2:03 PM

No @concord resident, that was the empty train waiting to get the stranded riders. I was on the stranded train and we were in the tunnel from about 8:20 to 9:30. When we arrived at Rockridge there was an empty train waiting along with a bunch of firefighters.

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