By Leo Byrne, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A power failure on both metro lines affected all the subway stations in the South Zone on Monday morning. The outage caused the closure of every station from Catete down to General Osório in Ipanema between 8AM and 10AM. The metro system did not fully recover its regular service until around midday.
The company in charge of operating the subway, METRÔRIO issued a statement saying that a problem with an electromechanical component caused the fault and that it was an isolated incident.
While most passengers were able to disembark at the stations, some became trapped within carriages that had not yet arrived at the platform. In such cases the passengers had to disembark and walk along the subway tracks under the supervision of METRÔRIO security staff.
One set of commuters was reported to be trapped near the Cardinal Arcoverde stop between Copacabana and Botafogo for an hour and a half. In this instance the train’s public announcement system also failed, meaning the driver had to go through each carriage explaining the problem.
The shutdown caused a ripple of disruption through Rio’s transit infrastructure with buses not able to quickly clear the backlog of stranded passengers. Gloria station became the southernmost functioning subway stop and subsequently saw the large crowds of people gather looking to catch buses further south and municipal guards were required to keep the large queues in order.
Those looking to catch had taxis also faced waits of up to an hour, while the extra congestion caused a traffic jam that stretched all the way to Lapa. The problem also affected the metro services further North with passengers experiencing long delays and crowded stations.
The Cantagalo and General Osório stations were scheduled to close in December due to the commencement of construction work on the new subway line. However sources revealed the work has now been postponed, until after the Carnival.
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