NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Dozens of people were safely evacuated from a Metrorail train after it partially derailed between stations near State Road 112 in Northwest Miami-Dade.
According to officials, the train went into a concrete barrier while transitioning tracks near Northwest 41st Street and 23rd Avenue, east of the Earlington Heights Station, Friday evening.
Commuters described a tense and chaotic situation, since they initially did not realize what had taken place.
“You’re trapped, you’re 40 feet up, you’re in a car, you don’t know what’s happening, you see smoke billowing,” said rider Destiny McHale.
“It felt like my life was about to come to an end,” said rider Jonathan Simmons.
Passengers said they felt a jolt just after 6 p.m.
“I don’t know what it hit. All I know it was a loud noise and a bump,” said Greg, who did not disclose his last name.
Fear and sense of uncertainty filled the train cars.
“It was just a rush, it was panic in the train. You know how when fear comes?” said Simmons.
“Behind us was smoke, was billowing, and that, I think, was the scariest time, when we saw the smoke, because you immediately start thinking, ‘How do you exit?'” said McHale.
Dozens of passengers and a several transit employees were stuck in a car for about an hour while fire crews worked to free them.
Cellphone video captured relieved passengers when they found out help had arrived.
7News cameras captured firefighters as they helped the passengers out of the cars.
In all, 28 passengers and two transit employees were evacuated.
Some said they welcomed the walk back to the station.
“It’s about 100 yards down, so it’s not too bad. Could be worse,” said Greg.
Crews working into the evening as they investigated what caused the partial derailment.
No serious injuries were reported.
“Everyone was safely evacuated, which is very good news,” said Karla Damian, a spokesperson for the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation, “and right now we have established a bus shuttle service that is going between our Earlington Heights Station to the Miami International Airport Station.”
Meanwhile, some Metrorail riders are counting their lucky stars that they were not on board the derailed train.
“Thank God we weren’t on that one, ’cause we missed that train. We actually missed that train,” said Yodaris Ramos.
Transit officials said the derailed train will likely stay in place overnight. They advised riders to follow the department’s Twitter account for updates on service.
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