Up to 10 people needed help flushing chemicals from their eyes Saturday after authorities say someone sprayed bear repellent inside a train near Stadium Station in Seattle.
The person who discharged the repellent at about 5:30 p.m. left the scene, and details weren’t immediately available about what led up to the incident, said Sound Transit spokesperson Rachel Cunningham. Police have yet to identify the person who sprayed the crowd, and left the train when it stopped, said Seattle Police Department Detective Patrick Michaud. Light-rail trains are equipped with cameras covering many angles inside and outside the rail cars.
The train was diverted to a spare track next to the station, where police arrived, and passengers evacuated, according to Cunningham. A total of 17 people were directly or indirectly exposed to the spray, she said.
The Seattle Fire Department responded, and tweeted that up to 10 people needed help flushing chemicals from their eyes.
Full service resumed, with delays expected across the 24-mile line, just before 6 p.m. A passenger at U District Station said he waited 30 minutes and about 100 people accumulated there until the next train showed up.
Nick DeVaux, of Puyallup, waiting down the line at Angle Lake Station to head north, said about 75 to 90 people were gathering there with no idea when a train might show up, for half an hour. “It’s hot, it’s 94 degrees outside. Some people are taking their shirts off,” he said. “Everyone keeps looking down the tracks expecting something to happen.”
Then at 6:22 p.m. a train rolled in, bells ringing. DeVaux said his group was going to the Seafair Torchlight Parade in downtown Seattle, and tried to do the right thing by taking the train and avoiding downtown parking.
Efficient transit is especially vital this weekend because of Saturday night’s parade and roadwork on southbound Interstate 5 in Sodo. Cunningham called the incident “a significant impact to southbound trains.”