Deadly crash on metro’s red line

I got home today from work, turned on the tv to watch the news and saw that metro’s red line had a deadly crash around 5:00pm this afternoon. I was on the blue line during that time.

According to the local news reports, which have been on all evening, both red line trains were headed in the direction of Washington, D.C.  The first train had stopped between Takoma Park and Fort Totten stations.

red_line_metro3

The second train rear ended the first train so fiercely that the second train vaulted on top of the train that was rear ended.  Check out the picture below to see what I’m talking about.

red_line_metro

According to one of the passengers the second train stopped due to the train in front of it that had stopped.   But apparently the driver of the second train started back up. The second train must have been going pretty fast to crash so hard into the first train.

So far six people were killed including the female driver of the second train and seventy people were injured.

What you’re seeing below is the front of the second train on top of the first train.

red_line_metro2

Red Line Crash Kills at Least Six
One Train Rear-Ends Another at Fort Totten Station in Deadliest Accident in Metro History

By Lena H. Sun, Robert Thomson and Maria Glod
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, June 22, 2009 9:23 PM

One Red Line Metrorail train rammed another from behind this evening between the Fort Totten and Takoma stations, killing at least six people and injuring 70 in what authorities called the transit system’s deadliest crash ever. The smashup was so forceful that the trailing train vaulted on top of the other.

Metro officials said the two six-car trains were headed in the same direction, toward Shady Grove, when one rear-ended the other shortly after 5 p.m. The female operator of the trailing train died.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said this evening that six people were killed but rescue personnel were still combing the wreckage. “This is the deadliest accident in the history of our Metro train transit system,” Fenty said.

Fire Chief Dennis L. Rubin estimated 70 people were injured, six critically, 14 moderately and 50 with minor injuries. Authorities said rescuers were searching the trains at the scene in Northeast Washington to ensure they were evacuated.

“We’re using heavy rescue equipment to cut open the cars to get whoever’s trapped in there out,” said D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Alan Etter.

Passengers who climbed out of the wreckage described a violent, shuddering crash.

“All I heard was a boom,” said Dylan Hooks, 17, who said he was on one of the trains. “Everybody started screaming. Somebody hit their head on the glass.” The electricity went off, he said, and passengers had to open the doors themselves to exit.

Tom Baker, 47, said he was in the first car of the trailing train. It had pulled out of Takoma Park on the way to Fort Totten, he said, when the conductor said it was holding because there was a train in front. Then the trailing train started moving again. Soon, Baker said, there was an “enormous crashing jolt.”

“You could hear all this crashing and glass breaking. I didn’t hear any brakes at all.” He said he saw the train lift into the air. Seats in his car were ripped out and tossed around. Some passengers were trapped; some screamed.

You can read the rest here at the Washington Post.  I’m sure more info will come out about this crash.

One response

  1. I could have easily been on that train myself if I had left work earlier and switched from the Green Line to the Red Line at Gallery Place, like I sometimes do. They really need to retire those old cars ASAP, because they represent an accident that was just waiting to happen, and did.

    My condolences go out to the victims of this horrible accident, and their families. I used to get impatient when I would be on a subway that would pause in tunnels, but I realize that it would be because of a train in front of the one I was riding in that stopped at a Metro Station.
    I am curious as to the final outcome of the ongoing investigation.

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