HAZMAT situation temporarily shut down station
The Pentagon Metro Station reopened at 12:20 p.m. today, Dec. 6, after being shut down for more than two hours following an alleged hazardous materials (HAZMAT) situation. HAZMAT experts were called to the station to investigate but found no traces of dangerous substances.
According to Metro spokesperson Cathy Asato, the Pentagon Metro Station was closed at 10:08 a.m. while experts tested the scene. The D.C. Emergency Management Agency (D.C. EMA) later informed government agencies and officials that cleaning solvents had triggered chemical sensors and that hazardous materials did not in fact exist.
Trains were not permitted to run through the Pentagon Station until the situation had been cleared by officials, reported the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority web site. "We just have to make sure everything's safe before we open the station again," Asato stated. Metro trains turned around at Arlington Cemetery and Pentagon City.
Emergency operation officials at federal agencies received the following message from the D.C. EMA regarding the station closure in the form of an e-mail or cell-phone/pager text message: "There has been an emergency at the Pentagon Metro Station. The station has been evacuated at this time. D.C. EMA will monitor and advise as necessary."
During the investigation, the Pentagon Bus Transit Center was closed as well. Free shuttle buses ran between the Pentagon City station and the Arlington Cemetery and L'Enfant Plaza stations.
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