Smoke-filled subway leads passengers to kick out windows to escape

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BOSTON – A frightening incident developed Tuesday night at the State Street subway station as smoke in a disabled train led to a panic among passengers, some of whom kicked out windows to escape, according to multiple reports.

No one was reported injured. In a statement, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said the incident occurred after a large piece of sheet metal fell off a train as it entered the station, disabling it and coming into contact with the electrified third rail. That train was taken out of service.

The piece of metal then was hit by another train as it was entering the station, leading to an overheated motor and smoke that filled the station and the train. The MBTA said that because the second train was fully in the station, the doors remained locked. It said some passengers then kicked out windows to escape the smoky cars.

T workers spent Tuesday night and Wednesday morning checking all the Orange Line cars to make sure of no loose metal. The agency said the piece of metal was a 1-foot by 12-foot  body panel that somehow had come lose.

State Street station was closed for a few hours Tuesday night to clear away the second disabled train and vent the smoke. T officials said early Wednesday that only Orange Line trains that had been fully inspected would be running on the line for the morning commute.