Monday, June 22, 2009

Rush Hour Metro Wreck

Man, this is terrible. I hope all our readers are safe.
Two Red Line Metrorail trains collided this evening between the Fort Totten and Takoma stations, striking with such force that part of one train was left resting on top of the other, and killing at least two people, authorities said. Red Line Collision Kills at Least 2

The headline at The Post's main page says Metro Red Line Trains Crash, Killing Four, not two, so I am guessing this story will be updated. [Note: 7:39PM, the headline and story have been updated to four killed.] [Note: 8:15PM now it says "at least four" killed. There may be more.] [Note: 9:00PM now the Post headline says "At least Six" killed -- please follow the link for the most up-to-date report.] [Note: 11PM -- Channel 9 just said at least nine killed.]
According to Metro spokewoman Lisa Farbstein, the two trains were both headed in the same direction. One rear-ended the other. The female operator of the trailing train died, she said.

"Obviously something went terribly wrong for two trains to be on the same track," she said.

It is unclear how many were injured in the collision, which occurred in Northeast Washington. A D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services department spokesman said that rescuers were still working to evacuate the trains.

"We're using heavy rescue equipment to cut open the cars to get whoever's trapped in there out," spokesman Alan Etter said.

The crash has shut a section of the Red Line, Metro's busiest. Trains are operating between Glenmont and Silver Spring and between Shady Grove and Rhode Island Avenue. In the middle, Metro is offering a shuttle bus service, but cautioned that it would likely be overwhelmed.

Yes, the so-called "shuttle bus service" is typically ... nothing. There might be a bus, maybe.

I just wanted to get this out there in case you've been stuck on the train somewhere or are waiting for somebody. Metro typically has no plan for moving passengers when something like this happens, and anybody going out to the Silver Spring end of the Red Line horseshoe -- which does include a lot of Vigilance blog readers -- is going to get home very late. Again, I hope everyone who reads this blog is all right, and our hearts go out to those whose lives are touched by tragedy today.


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