LA Metro Red Line Shutdown due to possible release of material in downtown station : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

ABC local LA TV reporting:

Fire dept on scene with hazmat crews due to numerious reports of buring eye, choking, etc. Also reported symtoms by police on the scene.

-- PHO (, September 26, 2001


From SF Gate f=/news/archive/2001/09/26/state2127EDT0183.DTL

LA subway shut down after riders complain of fumes Wednesday, September 26, 2001

(09-26) 18:50 PDT LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The city's subway was shut down during the evening commute Wednesday when 27 people complained of noxious fumes at a station west of downtown, authorities said.

The Red Line riders and two police officers who responded to the station at Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue in Koreatown complained of dizziness, mild respiratory distress and watery eyes, Fire Department Capt. Richard Andrade said.

Paramedics examined the group at the scene. The two Los Angeles Police Department officers were transported to hospitals by ambulance, although their conditions do not appear to be life threatening, said Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. "We don't, at this time, expect that this is a major event," Humphrey said.

The source of the fumes, which were reported shortly before 5 p.m., was under investigation by the department's hazardous materials unit.

"We have no information that will allow us to determine the nature of these fumes or whether that its intentional or accidental exposure," Humphrey said.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority shut down all 16 subway stations on the 17.4-mile line from Union Station downtown to the San Fernando Valley. The line carries 147,775 passengers on an average weekday, Humphrey said.

-- Margaret J (, September 26, 2001.

Metro Red Line Shut Down After People Sickened by Fumes

(KFWB) 9.26.01, 7:35p --

The MTA shut down the Metro Red Line during rush hour on Wednesday after a number of people became ill from fumes. The MTA reopened the line at 7:05 p.m. after a hazardous materials team for the city fire department found no evidence of toxic gases.

KFWB's Pete Demetriou reports paramedics treated 27 people after the train stopped at the Wilshire/Western station just after 5 p.m. They complained of noxious fumes which caused symptoms such as dry eyes, scratchy throats, tightness in the chest and dizziness. Three of the victims, including two law enforcement officers, were hospitalized.

The MTA ordered all 16 Metro Red Line stations evacuated for about two hours, citing safety concerns. KFWB's Bob Jimenez reported from the Hollywood and Vine Red Line station that some stranded passengers were worried about the situation because of the recent terrorist attacks, but most were concerned with reaching their destinations. The agency added more buses to assist the thousands of people affected by the shut down during the evening commute. The 17.4-mile line goes from Union Station downtown to the San Fernando Valley.

-- PHO (, September 27, 2001.

Complaints of Dizziness Shut Down Subway

Emergency: Fears of a possible terrorist attack prompt closure of 16 stations. The cause of passengers' symptoms is not determined.


Edgy officials evacuated 16 subway stations, shut down Red Line traffic and closed Wilshire Boulevard during the evening rush hour Wednesday after some subway passengers complained of itchy eyes and dizziness.

More than 25 people, including two police officers, were treated by paramedics. The two officers and an elderly woman were taken to a hospital, but no one appeared to be seriously injured.

The cause of their symptoms was not determined, but officials said it could have been anything from a minor gas leak to high pollen counts and the current spate of dry, hot weather. Fears by terrorist- conscious officials that it might be something much worse prompted a strong response to initial reports at 5:10 p.m. that something had overwhelmed two Los Angeles police officers patrolling the Red Line station at MacArthur Park.

The officers called for help. Several dozen police units and 20 fire engines responded, along with eight ambulances.

"Given the national situation, they erred on the side of caution," said Bill Heard, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

"This is an emergency!" speakers blared in Red Line stations from North Hollywood to Union Station. "Exit the station immediately."

Trains stopped at the nearest station, and passengers streamed up to the surface.

Paramedics treated 27 people at the Wilshire/Western station for minor eye irritation. After examination at the scene, the two police officers and an elderly woman were taken to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where they were treated for nausea and shortness of breath before being released.

Los Angeles Fire Capt. Richard Andrade said department chemists tested the subway station for everything from poison gases to neurological toxins and tear gas.

"We didn't find anything," Andrade said.

As a precaution, Wilshire Boulevard was shut down for several blocks on either side of the MacArthur Park station, snarling traffic in the area for several hours.

Wetenayet Girma said the 357-line bus she takes down Wilshire to classes at Santa Monica City College was detoured onto a side street.

"We would move like an inch, and then it would stop again," she said.

Oscar Hildalgo, who runs a small novelty stand near the Wilshire/Western station, said the stalled subway passengers seemed to take it all in stride, with no signs of anxiety.

"They were just asking what was going on," he said. "It didn't seem like much to me."

The MTA sent extra buses to all the Red Line stations so passengers could complete their journeys.

At 7 p.m., after a thorough search, the MTA reopened the Red Line stations and subway traffic resumed. Wilshire Boulevard was reopened to vehicular traffic about the same time.

-- PHO (, September 27, 2001.

Possibly a "test" by ???????????

-- PHO (, September 27, 2001.

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