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  • MTL Metro Paralyzed by Pepper Spray?

MTL Metro Paralyzed by Pepper Spray?

MTL Metro Paralyzed by Pepper Spray?iStock/Getty
MTL Metro Paralyzed by Pepper Spray

Did you get stuck in the Montreal metro system during rush hour this morning? Three out of four of the STM’s underground transit lines were partially shut down this morning, effectively paralyzing most of the network. Riders were evacuated from Champ-de-Mars station and reports suggest pepper spray may be to blame for the massive system failure.

Montreal’s firefighters responded on the scene. While the type of incident remains to be confirmed, firefighters themselves mentioned pepper spray…

Radio host Bernard Drainville described the “terrifying” scene in a Twitter post, saying “tens (hundreds?) of metro users evacuated the wagons while coughing. Some of them were coughing violently.”

For riders, this meant a severely hampered rush hour commute just days after the return from the holidays. Three lines (Green, Orange and Yellow) were partially or fully shut down this morning just before 9 am, with service resuming around 9 am on most lines. A massive backlog of riders could be seen at most major stations – some users reported the extra-large docks at Lionel-Groulx station were near their full capacity. If any more people had filled up the space, the STM may have had to evacuate THAT station as well…

Although the pepper spray was released on the orange line at Champ-de-Mars, the station’s proximity to Berri-UQÀM meant the gas could travel from one line to the others, forcing the STM to close three lines while they evacuated the gas from the ambient air.

As of now, the metro should be back to normal service.



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