UPDATE 2/27 7:56 a.m. — DC Fire and EMS told DC News Now that the smoke came from a vehicle fire in a parking garage near the Tenleytown Station.
Officials did not say what caused the sparks and sounds that riders reported.
Metro announced that Red Line service was restored around 9:20 p.m.
WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The Metro Transit Police Department said that at around 6 p.m. on Sunday, they received reports of smoke outside Van Ness Station.
Following this report, officials said the Red Line train service was suspended between Friendship Heights and Dupont Circle.
Alice Still, a freshman at American University, told DC News Now that she heard a “loud bang and saw a… flash of orange and sparks” when her train was about to enter Van Ness station.
“The second the doors opened, I was out of there,” Still said.
Metro police said in a statement, “While there is no evidence of any smoke or fire at this time and DCFD had initially cleared the scene, we have requested that they standby as a precaution while we investigate further.”
Still was not the only rider startled by Sunday’s events.
“I was just on the train minding my own business and boom! Big explosion noise,” said Colin Gorman of Frederick, Md.
Some passengers reported no announcements as the train cars went dark.
“We smelled some burned rubber. That’s about it,” said Quentin Coquerel of St. Louis. “They asked us to leave the station. So we did.”
Officials said that there were shuttle buses in service ready to help move people impacted.
Just Sunday morning, Metro held a safety drill in Montgomery County to familiarize first responders with the system in the event that an evacuation needs to take place.
The incident happened seven months after fire and smoke broke out on another Red Line train involving Van Ness Station and Farragut Street Station.