WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 13: A sign that reads "Security Alert" is on display as Metro Rail riders depart a subway station February 13, 2003 in Washington, DC. Last week, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge increased the level of alert from yellow to orange because of intelligence that suggested a growing threat from Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Gail Harris and two other women were trapped on a malfunctioning Metro train Friday morning, banging on the doors and windows and screaming to be let out. But it took several stations and minutes before they were able to escape.
The women were trapped for about 20 minutes Friday morning and "people could see us on the train as we were going past" in the stations, Harris told the Washington Post.
It was a scary experience, Harris said, especially for someone like her, who has high blood pressure.
The incident began at about 7:20 am when the crowded train malfunctioned at Capitol South Station and the operator instructed all the passengers to alight. However, Harris said, the door suddenly shut tight before she and the two others could get off.
After the train began moving Harris and the other women pressed the red emergency button repeatedy in a vain effort to get help, she said. She said attempts to reach a 911 operator cellphones were unsuccessful.
In the meantime, Harris said, the train rolled on through the Federal Center, L'Enfant Plaza and Smithsonian stations.
It wasn't until they got to Metro Center that a Metro employee found them and finally got the doors opened for them.
Harris said she left a message on Metro's customer complaint line, but as of Friday evening, had not heard back from anyone.
The Post also noted that Metro officials had no immediate comment on the matter either.