Panic Near 30th Street Station Leads to Full-Blown SEPTA Chaos

Regional Rail passengers crawled out of emergency exit windows onto railroad tracks in Center City last night – here's why.

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Image via Twitter

Panicked SEPTA Regional Rail riders rushed out of a train onto Center City railroad tracks last night, prompting commuting chaos – all because of false rumors of a fire.

The turmoil began around 5 p.m., when a Paoli-Thorndale train traveling from 30th Street Station to Suburban Station stopped for several minutes because of a power outage. When officials restored power, there were two loud bangs. 

The bangs scared some passengers into thinking they were at risk, and after several minutes, people reportedly started yelling about a fire. Passengers opened emergency windows and exited the train, flooding nearby tracks.

As a safety precaution, SEPTA was forced to shut down all surrounding Regional Rail traffic for roughly an hour, leading to delays throughout the rest of the night.

Scott Sauer, assistant general manager for operations at SEPTA, said the loud bangs were the sound of an electrical breaker tripping twice.

Roughly 500 people were estimated to be on the train. No one was injured.

SEPTA is reportedly investigating the incident.

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