Washington Metro Commuter Train Accident Raises Questions of Passenger Safety

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is a tri-jurisdictional authorities company that operates practice and bus transit providers. The Metro, as it is termed, is funded by the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland.

Nine folks were killed and numerous more travellers have been wounded when two Washington Metro subway trains collided on June 21, 2009, Monday afternoon in Washington, D.C.  One particular commuter, recognised as Metro practice 112, crashed into the back of an additional stationary commuter on the Metropolitan Spot Transit Authority’s Red line in between the Takoma and Fort Totten Metrorail stations. The Nationwide Transportation Basic safety board (NHTSA) is investigating but is not going to probable have a report on what prompted the collision for quite a few months. In this article is what we do know.

Metro coach 112 was the oldest in the fleet and was sent to Metro someday amongst 1975 to 1978.  The topic teach was getting operated by an employee with 3 or so months of expertise.  Nevertheless, Metro 112 was normally controlled by a laptop or computer as opposed to the operator, except the train was in a guide mode. It is getting documented that Metro 112 was in “automatic method” at the time of collision indicating that the pc was running the educate, not the train operator on board.  It is also remaining claimed that the emergency brake on prepare 112 had been depressed, which could signify that the coach operator attempted to manually halt the prepare to prevent collision.  The lever could have, having said that, been pressured forward by overall body call or other get in touch with. The NTSB has also verified that Metro 112 was two months overdue for scheduled brake routine maintenance.

The other piece of information and facts our lawyers are concentrating on is that federal officers had proposed that practice 112 should really have been changed because of issues about its age. Basic safety watchdogs warned Washington’s metro operators 3 a long time in the past about weaknesses in growing older subway cars and trucks like practice 112 on difficulties of crashworthiness. The NTSB has also claimed that it informed Washington Metro in 2006 that the carriage in its 1000-collection trains, like coach 112,  was most likely to unreasonably crumple in an collision jeopardizing the protection of travellers and crew.

Evidently, the investigation is presently centered on the onboard computers that handle the trains velocity and braking, the Metro monitor signal system which was specifically designed to prevent collisions this kind of as this one, and on the age of educate 112, just one of around 300 1000-series. We would not know for months what the bring about, or numerous results in, of this deadly commuter coach accident have been.  Nevertheless, it is already distinct that this accident could have been avoided.  The security systems and processes are designed to preclude and incident like this from ever developing.  One thing obviously went erroneous. Recall it was only 8 months ago that one more commuter prepare in Los Angles California claimed the lives of 20 travellers.  The operator in that instance was working a mobile cellphone at the time of the collision.

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