This happened about an hour before I’m usually on the red line:
After the propulsion system failed on an inbound Red Line train as it pulled into Quincy Center station around 7:20 a.m., smoke started to rise from the vehicle, causing commuters to react quickly by smashing out the train’s windows to help people trapped inside get out safely.
“The doors on one of the trains wasn’t opening, and people started panicking,” said Catherine Groux, who was waiting for the train when it pulled up and started spewing smoke.
Groux said people assumed there was a fire on the train, and after trying to pry the doors open to let passengers off, riders resorted to breaking the windows instead. “People started punching and kicking open the doors to get people out of there,” said Groux. “People got out through the broken windows. The crowd was helping people step up and get through the windows of the train. The crowd became extremely energetic, and everyone began panicking, which fueled the entire situation.”
But MBTA officials said there was “absolutely no reason” for riders to break the windows, since “there was no danger, and no one was injured” as a result of the faulty propulsion system.
The MBTA officials seem to think that the riders had the luxury of knowing exactly what was going on. Considering that the red line rarely even announces the next stop, I’m going to assume that the riders only knew that their train was filling up with smoke, tried the emergency doors which failed to open and then did what anybody else with any common sense would have done and found a way out of a smoked filled enclosed space.