Numerous mishaps lead to hundreds of Paris metro passengers being stranded underground.

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Metro Operator Apologizes for Incident

The operator of the Paris metro system issued an apology after hundreds of passengers were trapped underground during rush hour in sweltering temperatures. The incident occurred on multiple lines, with five trains on busy line 4 becoming stuck between stations due to a signalling issue. Furthermore, a woman’s bag getting stuck in a door at Cité metro station triggered an alarm and caused technical problems, preventing some trains from restarting.

Disruptions on Line 13 and RER

Simultaneously, metro line 13 experienced a blockage from 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm due to a computer failure. Passengers were instructed to disembark at the station and find alternate routes. Additionally, a breakdown of a train in Seine-Saint-Denis caused disruptions on lines B and D of the RER suburban commuter trains.

Passengers Endure Harsh Conditions

Passengers endured unbearable heat and prolonged waits between stations. Oussama El Cherif, a 19-year-old passenger, described joining others in walking along the rails to exit the metro after a lengthy delay. Concerns were raised on social media about the well-being of vulnerable individuals, such as babies and the elderly, who were onboard.

Evacuation Efforts and Apologies

Approximately 125 RATP agents were deployed to manage the incident, and evacuations began around 7:50 pm. Social media users shared videos of overcrowded carriages, expressing their worries. Eventually, all passengers were safely evacuated, and the RATP operator expressed its apologies and regrets for the incident and its impact on passengers.

Investigations and Modernization Efforts

Jean Castex, the chief executive of the RATP operator and former French prime minister, has initiated an internal investigation to determine the causes of this “exceptional incident.” The incident highlights ongoing concerns about overcapacity and outdated infrastructure within the Paris metro system. Efforts to modernize the system are underway, including the gradual automation of line 4 to a driverless system. The incident also raises questions about the system’s preparedness to handle the anticipated influx of visitors for the 2024 Paris Olympics. President Emmanuel Macron appointed Castex to address these issues and improve the RATP’s operations.

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