I was taking the T in to work this morning. I had a doctor's appointment beforehand, so I left for the trains a little earlier than I usually do.
The trip was pretty normal until we pulled into the Kendall station. I noticed some of the lights on the platform across from us were flickering. It looked like the flickering of a fluorescent light on its last legs, only there were several lights doing this. And then all the lights were doing it. And then they all went out.
From my vantage point on the train, it just looked like the T had gone and blown a fuse or something and, considering their current maintenance track record, didn't surprise me all that much. It didn't look like an emergency, just another annoyance. Light was streaming in from the ground entrances and it looked as if all the Charlie gates had opened themselves and stayed open (a very smart move in the event of a power outage. Thank heavens they gave a bit of forethought to possible evacuation scenarios!) I just hoped that this power outage wasn't about to affect the train, too.
It didn't, the train's lights and engine stayed on, and a few moments later we pulled out of Kendall and made it across the Charles. We probably were the last inbound train to do so before the T had to start busing passengers from Central Square to Park Street. But it wasn't their fault. See, there was a big electrical fire
in a Cambridge office building right by Kendall Square, forcing evacuations and causing power outages all around the area. The trains stopped, the fire departments responded, and from the reports both newspaperly and LiveJournally, everybody got out all right, but some folks are still suffering from heavy smoke inhalation. The reports say the fire started at "just after 11 am", which, judging from the time I got to South Station today, was exactly when I was on the train at Kendall watching the lights flicker.
It's so weird to be right near a scene like that -- hell, right under
a scene like that -- and have absolutely no idea what's going on. I'm not going to play the "What-If" game or compare it to other urban disasters, however. I'm just glad everybody's ok (and, since journalling is always supposed to be "all about me", I'm glad I made it to work on time.)