SEPTA STRIKE: The R-5 Down In Flames

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[Photo by PRISCILLA COLAN]

INQUIRER: A fire broke out on a SEPTA R5 Paoli train packed with passengers in West Philadelphia this morning, adding to the transportation chaos triggered by the city mass transit workers’ strike. The smokey fire on the first car broke out about 7 a.m. and was contained within 40 minutes. Passengers evacuated safely and there were no reports of serious injuries. “I can tell you there is absolutely no indication it is strike related,” said SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams. She said at the scene the fire was electrical in nature and started either in a heater or a traction motor. The car went into service in 1965. The inbound train was just outside the Overbrook station when the fire broke out. Williams said 500 to 700 passengers were on the four-car train. MORE

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