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'We fell short,' DIA says after train incident causes hourslong security delays

The airport's security checkpoints and trains between the concourses returned to normal operations by 2 p.m. Friday.

DENVER — Operations at Denver International Airport (DIA) are returning to normal after a mechanical issue with a train led to hours-long delays for passengers departing the airport Friday morning. 

The airport's security checkpoints and trains between the concourses returned to normal operations by 2 p.m., according to the airport. The airport still recommends passengers allow an extra 30 minutes to get through security. 

Earlier this morning, the airport recommended passengers give themselves more than two hours extra time to get to their concourses. The trains between the concourses were running at reduced capacity after an early-morning incident damaged about 100 feet of rail. 

Numerous people reached out to 9NEWS Friday morning and described extremely long security lines. They were so long people were waiting outside.

Friday afternoon, the airport sent a statement apologizing for the delays. 

"Today, [DIA] passengers have experienced significant delays due to a mechanical issue with our train to the gates," an airport spokesman said. "We recognize how impactful these delays are and we apologize for the frustration this has caused. We strive to provide passengers with a pleasant experience while traveling through [DIA], and we fell short this time. We are grateful for passengers’ patience and we look forward to providing them with a better experience next time. In the meantime, we are committed to exploring options to provide alternate ways to move passengers between the terminal and concourses and improving our process when incidents like this occur."

Around 12:30 a.m. Friday, a breaker trip caused four train cars filled with approximately 200 people to lose power, according to DIA.

DIA said a deflated tire caused the train to drop a couple of inches and drag on the track, which damaged the power rail. 

Passengers on the train car were stuck for approximately four minutes and no passengers reported injuries. As emergency crews responded to assist, the passengers on the train pulled the train’s emergency handles and passengers began to exit the train into the train tunnels.

DIA said the trains were down for around one hour while emergency personnel escorted the passengers through the walkways then swept the tunnels to ensure no one had been left behind. During this time, busing operations were in place to take passengers from Concourses B and C to Concourse A, where they could walk to the Terminal.

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Credit: Patrick Falencik

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