Under heavy winds during rush hour this evening, a BART train struck a large tree limb near Balboa Park, interrupting service between 24th Street and Colma at around 6 p.m. BART reports that passengers from the train had to be rescued and there were no reported injuries. Service was still interrupted as of 7:15 p.m.
We have a downed tree limb near Balboa Park. Both tracks are blocked due to incident. No train service between 24th-Daly City. Muni avail— SFBART (@SFBART) January 11, 2017
7:10pm update: disabled train still disabled but crews on scene. Opposite track has large limb, crews attempting to cut and remove.— SFBART (@SFBART) January 11, 2017
There was what looks like bedlam at 24th Street Station as passengers piled up on the platform.
One passenger aboard the BART train that hit the tree limb has tweeted out his tale.
There was a lot of damage to the 3rd rail so we can't move. Plan is to couple a train to the front of ours and have us board that one.— Ryan Rennaker (@ryanrennaker) January 11, 2017
This is our fearless conductor opening the doors between the cars. As you can see, he has our full confidence and support. pic.twitter.com/bRaskQjJGN— Ryan Rennaker (@ryanrennaker) January 11, 2017
The rescue train has arrived! No idea how BART will sort this one out, but at least we are getting off this train.— Ryan Rennaker (@ryanrennaker) January 11, 2017
A bad night for BART. Winds are still serious and this may continue.
And, on top of all this, some sort of police situation at Embarcadero Station was causing trains to have to bypass that station as of about 7:30 p.m.
Trains are not stopping at EMBR due to police activity.— SFBARTalert (@SFBARTalert) January 11, 2017
Update: According to BART spokesperson Alicia Trost, via the Chronicle, the story is a bit more complicated.
Just outside Balboa Park Station, around 5:35 p.m., shortly after a switching problem had already slowed the commute, a tree limb fell toward the tracks and "glanced off the side of a downtown-bound train, Trost said, but the train continued into Balboa Park station. A train headed toward Daly City ran over the limb and stopped. BART sent a rescue train to take an estimated 400 to 500 passengers off of the disabled one."
Delays persist systemwide, and according to BART's homepage, service remains shut down between 24th Street and Daly City as of 9 p.m.
In short, a mess.