Heather Parker reports she was on an Orange Line train to Forest Hills, when there was a bang and what looked like flames as the train entered State Street shortly before 9 p.m.
Passengers evacuated the train, the station filled with smoke and firefighters arrived and asked the T to shut power in both directions, from Community College to Tufts.
The cause turned out to be some damaged third rail, which the "shoe" that connected one car to the system pulled up, causing sparks, a flash, a bang and smoke - although riders said the third rail was already smoking when the train entered the station.
Nathan Pyritz, who was also on the train, reports:
Man on platform said previous train also kicked up sparks.
Another rider adds:
There was already significant smoke in the station before a train had arrived ( I'm unsure if the was a train beforehand) - several people attempted to put the fire (electrical?) out to tamp the acrid smoke filling the station. When a train came, it originally stopped over the fire in the video and then proceeded another 40 feet - at which point it stopped and 30 seconds later there was a large arc and boom.
The rider provided this brief video of the smoking third rail before the train pulled into the station:
Photos by Parker:
The scene outside State Street station (Photo by Scoots):