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Fire hits Seattle monorail

A fire broke out on Seattle's monorail Monday afternoon, but no serious injuries were reported.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A monorail caught fire outside a Seattle museum Monday, forcing firefighters to use ladders to evacuate dozens of passengers.

Nine people were hospitalized, including a firefighter who injured a knee, but none of the injuries was considered serious and no one appeared to have been burned, Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzgerald said. About 40 people were evaluated at the scene for respiratory problems from the smoke, she added.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

About 100 people were aboard the train when it caught fire outside the Seattle Center’s Experience Music Project, a rock ’n’ roll museum. Thousands of people gathered at the center over the holiday weekend for the annual Folklife Festival.

Fire officials said the fire was brought under control Monday evening. Streets were closed in the area.

The monorail, originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair, runs through the museum on its path between the Seattle Center and downtown. Both of the monorail system’s trains will be out of service for an undetermined amount of time.

There have been several incidents over the years in which the fire department’s high-angle rescue team has been called out to remove passengers when a train broke down.