The Toulouse metro network is experiencing one of the biggest breakdowns in its history this Wednesday, July 6. at the beginning of the morning, all the trains have since been stopped on lines A and B. For the time being, Tisséo, the manager of public transport for the agglo, does not disclose any information on the extent of the damage, nor on a possible resumption of traffic.
Place de la Patte-d’Oie is cordoned off. The Toulouse municipal police and some national police vehicles block this Wednesday, July 5 in the morning the five accesses to the roundabout which leads to the metro entrance. Residents worried about seeing all this deployment of law enforcement and emergency services inquired about the situation with Tisséo agents who prohibited access to the metro. About 70 firefighters and a dozen machines are responsible for extinguishing a fire that broke out in the basement. A power surge has caused an electric arc.
Instantly, lines A and B of the network found themselves deprived of electricity and plunged into complete darkness. All trains are at a standstill. Firefighters and Tisséo agents evacuate all users first on line A then on line B via emergency corridors specially dedicated to this purpose.
Crisis meeting upon crisis meeting
“Things were done in an orderly manner without any panic. There was no malfunction of the safety devices, all the smoke extraction systems worked perfectly, ”says Captain Magali Fretay, one of the officers in charge of organizing the intervention. In addition, it indicates that “eight people slightly inconvenienced by the fumes were directly taken care of on the spot. »
The firefighters then methodically inspected the entire line A to verify that there were no fire risks on other sensitive points of the electrical network.
Substitute transport fares
When the blackout happened, Ambre, 18, was on her way to work, Place des Carmes. The young florist was traveling on line A in the direction of Esquirol: “The train did not stop dead but in spurts. When the metro came to a complete stop, we received a radio call from Tisséo indicating that the train was about to leave. At one point, no longer a tenant, a woman picked up the car’s intercom to find out what was really going on. He was told that we were all going to be evacuated. A very loud alarm went off and sounded intermittently. It feels like being in a disaster movie. A gentleman came to manually open the car door. We all left peacefully. In two minutes I was out.”
The leaders of Tisséo, the public transport manager of the agglomeration, have multiplied crisis meetings since Wednesday morning but nothing filters on the general seriousness of the breakdown or on a possible resumption of traffic.
It would also seem that there are some tariffs on the establishment of reinforcement buses which are supposed to compensate for the total paralysis of lines A and B of the Toulouse metro. “We announced more buses but in reality we don’t have the necessary drivers to run them… Under these conditions, it’s normal for people to get angry,” says a Tisséo employee.