Hundreds of Metro passengers thronged streets near the Navy Yard Metro station after a series of problems Wednesday evening led to a train evacuating into a tunnel.
Almost 2,000 passengers sat in the dark for about 30 minutes, News4’s Shomari Stone reported. About 150 chose to self-evacuate. Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said that decision exacerbated the problem as they had to be escorted out of the tunnel by Metro Transit Police officers. Those officers were diverted from helping direct the crowd to shuttle buses, he added.
Service was restored about 7:15 p.m., though many delays remained.
"I want to apologize to our customers,” Metro GM Richard Sarles said Thursday. “It was very long delays last night, and some experienced alarm.”
At about 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Anacostia station, an arcing insulator created smoke and forced single-tracking between Navy Yard and Southern Avenue while Metro personnel worked on the third rail problem.
A Metro powered down a section of the track so personnel could work on the problem but mistakenly powered down both sides of the track, including a portion with two trains on it, forcing the suspension of service. Metro previously reported someone with D.C. Fire and EMS powered down the wrong section of track
Complicating the situation, two medical emergencies were reported.
Metro provided shuttle bus service between Navy Yard, Anacostia, Congress Heights and Southern Avenue, but riders were advised to avoid the Green Line during the outage.
As of 7 p.m., power was restored to all trains and customers previously aboard stalled trains were taken to stations.
Many of the affected passengers took to social media to spread the word of the problems. "Got out at Navy Yard. Walking home to Gallery Place," tweeted one Metro user. "Been sitting on a Green Line train at Southern Ave for 20 minutes," tweeted another.
"There's going to come a point tonight when I'll realize I should have just walked the 60 miles to my house," another user said on Twitter.
The investigation into the mess continues, Sarles said, but he admitted the response to the problems was not satisfactory.
“It was unacceptable to them, as our customers, and it certainly was unacceptable to me,” he said.
Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates as they become available.