x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Fire on track closes part of Metro

A small fire broke out on the Metro's tracks yesterday, prompting the evacuation of at least one train and the closure of a section of the Red Line.

DUBAI // A small fire broke out on the Metro's tracks yesterday, prompting the evacuation of at least one train and the closure of a section of the Red Line. It is the first incident to force a closure of the Metro since it opened in early September. Commuters aboard a Jebel Ali-bound train said they saw a fire on the opposite track after leaving Union Square station at 6.15pm.

"The train was about 150 metres outside the Union station when we saw all this grey smoke in the tunnel and a fire coming up from the other track," said Aman Coco, 31 an IT consultant from the UK. She said the fire was "about the size of a campfire". "When I got off at Mall of the Emirates station, the staff were telling people that the line was temporarily closed." Officials shut the line between Al Jafiliya station and Terminal 3 station and closed the four stations in between - Khalid Bin Al Waleed, Union Square, Al Rigga and Deira City Centre, which are all underground.

"There were reports of smoke in the tunnel at Union station and all the emergency procedures were taken as a precaution," said Peyman Younes Parham, the Roads and Transport Authority's director of corporate communications. He said a bus service was provided between Al Jafiliya and Terminal 3 stations and that the remaining seven stations were still operational. "We hope to have the line up and running later tonight or tomorrow morning," he said.

Hussein Abdullah, a video editor, said the train he boarded at Mall of the Emirates was halted and officials began evacuating the carriage. "We were told technical difficulties had caused a delay," he said. eharnan@thenational.ae