SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Hayden Smith found himself surrounded by chaos, as a TRAX train he was riding burst into flames late Tuesday night, near 400 South, along Main Street.
“I heard a pretty big boom, and a lot of screaming,” Smith said. “There were quite a few sparks from outside of the car, and the inside, towards the front of the car I was in.”
According to Utah Transit Authority spokesman, Carl Arky, an electrical line overhead somehow experienced a power surge.
Hayden Smith says he heard screaming and loud booming sounds as a TRAX train he was riding burst into flames Tuesday night.
Workers are still looking into the exact cause.
Smith says panic started to build toward the rear of the train, where he was riding on his way home from his after school job.
“There were these two girls, all they were doing was screaming and hugging each other,” Smith recalled. “One guy was trying to kick the window down. Like, he cracked it pretty bad, trying to open it.”
Smith says he grabbed his bag, and walked to an emergency exit, and opened the door.
“There was a giant cable running through, right next to the train that was like melting red hot,” Smith described. “We really didn’t want to get out that side.”
Smith made his way to an emergency exit on the opposite side.
“I ran right across the street to a safe distance,” Smith said. “The whole time, there was just constant explosions and sparks, and they were huge. They were quite big, and it was really scary.”
A glowing, red power line can be seen behind the train
Arky says in these cases, passengers should remain on the train until instructed otherwise by first responders, or a train operator. Luckily in this case, there was only one minor injury reported. In one witness video, bystanders could be seen rushing the front car of the train, apparently trying to get the door open, and sparks continue to fly. The glowing, red power line can be seen not far away.
“I never thought that would happen,” Smith said, adding that he suspects he’ll be back on TRAX soon. “I doubt something like that’s going to happen again. The chances of it are pretty low.”
Repairs to the TRAX line are expected to continue through their regular working hours Thursday. Buses will continue to pick up people in the area to bridge their service through that time.