Memphis trolley car 'a total loss' after fire - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis trolley car 'a total loss' after fire

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This is a view of the trolley car fire from the Action News 5 Midtown camera. This is a view of the trolley car fire from the Action News 5 Midtown camera.
Witnesses heard a loud pop as the eastbound trolley approached the I-40, I-240 overpass. Witnesses heard a loud pop as the eastbound trolley approached the I-40, I-240 overpass.
Witnesses also say the fire rushed through the trolley. Witnesses also say the fire rushed through the trolley.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A trolley, with nine passengers and a conductor in tow, caught fire on a busy Memphis street Monday.

Passengers made it out of the trolley before it was fully engulfed in flames on Madison Avenue, but at one point they said they could not get out of the car.

"I saw my life just gone," said passenger Amanda Stroy. "It scared me real bad."

Witnesses heard a loud pop as the eastbound trolley approached the I-40, I-240 overpass.

"It was like boom and we were all trapped full of smoke, and we couldn't see and everybody was banging on the door," said Stroy.

Stroy says a fellow passenger pried open the doors.

"When I got off I couldn't talk, I couldn't breathe," she said.

Paramedics rushed seven of the nine passengers to the hospital for smoke inhalation. The cause was an electrical malfunction.

"The fire started in the control stand," said Memphis Fire Department Lt. Wayne Cooke, who calls the car a total loss. "The flames spread through it relatively quickly."

The MATA trolley rail line on Madison Avenue will be temporarily suspended as a result of the fire.

MATA reports no previous major problems with the trolley that caught on fire. Preventative maintenance was done on that specific trolley on October 25, 2013.

The Madison Avenue rail line will be replaced with bus service until further notice. The Main Street and Riverfront lines will remain open.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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