Fire erupts on PATCO train
CAMDEN, N.J. - April 16, 2011 (WPVI) -- Firefighters battled an underground fire on the PATCO high speed line in Camden overnight.
Crews were called out to PATCO's City Hall stop at 5th and Market Street around 2:15 this morning
Arriving firefighters and Camden City EMS crews were met with smoke pouring from the underground station.
PATCO says 33 passengers were aboard the train cars when fire and smoke began pouring from the undercarriage of a train.
Medics from nearly a dozen suburban towns rushed to the scene to treat the passengers.
The fire marshal tells Action News that five of the passenger were taken by ambulance to Cooper University Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Several passengers reported "mayhem", and said they were nearly "trampled" while trying to flee for safety.
"Somebody yelled fire, and we could see from where I was sitting in the car, kind of like an ember glow and lots of smoke coming up," explained Ashley Dwyer. "Everybody just started running. It was chaotic. Everybody was pushing each other trying to get up here as quick as possible."
"By the time we got off the train, it was already filled in the train station," said Eva Seranni. "We were just trying to get out of the station underground through the smoke. It was everywhere."
"It started getting really hot, and then everyone was like panicking and jamming the doors," said Gabriela Algecera. "It was almost like trampling each other pushing."
Fortunately there appear to be no serious injuries. All five of those hospitalized are said to be ok.
The fire briefly halted PATCO service between Philadelphia and New Jersey. PATCO train service is now operating between Philadelphia and Camden, with the exception of the Camden City stop at 5th and Market.
PATCO says a mechanical malfunction sparked the fire, which caused "extensive" damage to track at the 5th and Market stop in Camden. PATCO and other agencies continue to investigate the fire.
patco, fire, camden, new jersey, local/state, vernon odom
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