Stretch of Toronto subway shut down, stations evacuated due to fire

TORONTO — Passengers from one Toronto subway train had to trudge through a smoky tunnel, while thousands of others saw their commutes otherwise delayed or interrupted after a small fire shut down a stretch of the city's busy crosstown line for several hours during the Monday morning rush.The blaze broke out on the tracks near the platform at Dundas West Station around 7 a.m., leading that station and a neighbouring one to be evacuated, the city's fire department and the Toronto Transit Commission said.TTC spokesman Stuart Green said on Twitter that a wooden cover board contacted the third rail and caused the fire. He said a "non-TTC person" on board one of the trains trapped in the smoky tunnel "improperly opened a door, letting smoke in."Videos posted on social media show passengers walking single-file through the tunnel with the help of subway workers.TTC spokeswoman Hayley Waldman said the passengers had to leave the train because they were not at the platform, and they were led away from the fire in order to leave the system at another station."It was done in an incredibly safe manner overseen by professionals," Waldman said in an interview, noting there were no injuries. "People weren't just left to make their own way through the tunnel."A stretch of the Bloor-Danforth Line was closed down for about three hours, the TTC said.Toronto Fire district chief Stephan Powell said the fire was extinguished quickly, using a combination of carbon dioxide and dry chemical.The incident threw a wrench into the Monday morning commute in the country's biggest city, leaving some stations packed and many riders venting their frustrations on social media."It's a mess down here!" Jason Lascelle wrote on Twitter. "Find another way to your destination."Waldman said there were several emergency alarms activated on board other trains, which made the commute worse."It definitely causes a bit of backlog — one small issue is compounded by a second small issue, on top of the fire situation," Waldman said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2019.The Canadian Press

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