Riders shaken when fire breaks out on Seattle Monorail

Monday, May 31, 2004

From KING5.com Staff

SEATTLE, WA- Passengers were shaken up when a fire broke out in one of the Seattle Monorail trains on Monday afternoon. The fire happened just outside the Experience Music Project, the rock 'n' roll music museum at Seattle Center, which was the site this holiday weekend of the annual Folklife Festival.

Firefighters used ladders to evacuate dozens of passengers, some of whom were treated for smoke inhalation.

The monorail has two trains, the blue train and the red train. The fire was on the blue train.

A rider said there was a popping sound and the train stopped.

"We managed to get the safety locks open and open all the doors to get some ventilation," said one rider. "For a while it was pretty scary there 'cause it was getting warm and the smoke was getting thick ... and there's all of us with babies on there."

Helen Fitzpatrick of the Seattle Fire Department said there were no serious injuries. Eight passengers were taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment and one firefighter was transported to the hospital for a knee injury.

The Seattle Fire Department determined Monday evening the fire was sparked by a short in electrical wiring to a motor.

EMP spokesperson Paige Prill said Monday night the museum was not damaged by the fire. The building was not evacuated and no smoke got into the building.

The monorail was built for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair to provide a link between the fairgrounds and the amenities downtown.

The trains carry approximately 2.5 million riders every year.

Officials said the Monorail will be shut down indefinitely.



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