A cloud of smoke filled a metro tunnel near Washington D.C's L'Enfant Plaza station on Monday, leaving one passenger dead, one in critical condition and more than 80 others hospitalized.
Here's a look at what victims saw inside the tunnel:
That was easily the worst metro ride of my life pic.twitter.com/a5EnGeRzMQ— Jonathan Rogers (@JRogers202) January 12, 2015
Metro riders were trapped underground in the dark, smoky train for almost an hour, some unable to pry open the doors or exit the vehicle.
With smoke quickly seeping into the cars, an announcement urged passengers to “remain calm,” assuring them “there is no fire in the tunnel, it’s just smoke ... the train is not on fire.”
"We're all trying to get back to the platform. Visibility is zero in the tunnel," the announcement added. "Please do not open the train doors. Please, stay where you are right now."
Passengers described a chaotic scene -- people coughing, choking, crying -- and praying.
Eventually, firefighters came to the rescue, leading more than 200 soot-stained passengers out through the tunnel.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, it was an "an electrical arcing event" on the high-voltage third rail that caused the deadly smoke.
Investigators in the Metro tunnel in DC where today's incident occurred. pic.twitter.com/FAvljXJn3W— NTSB (@NTSB) January 13, 2015
Investigators at work in the tunnel near the site of today's Metro incident near L'Enfant Plaza. pic.twitter.com/VJVKe50RAK— NTSB (@NTSB) January 13, 2015