D.C. Metro Crash: At Least 2 Dead, Dozens Injured (UPDATE: 6 Dead, 80+ Hurt, Search Goes On) (UPDATE 2: 9 Dead)

metrocrash.jpg

Twitpic by shawberhood.

The New York City Subway is not as padded nor as quiet as the D.C. Metro, but it's been about 12 years since we've had a collision of trains in service, and 18 years since we've have a passenger fatality. At least two people are reported killed by a collision on the Metro's Red Line during this evening's rush hour between the Takoma Park and Fort Totten stations. We are also hearing there are at least 55 injuries and climbing, and people still trapped in the cars. The Red Line is shut for the night. Here's another twitpic of the wreckage.

Update: Now six deaths are reported, including the operator of one of the trains, and crews are still going through the wreck, cutting through the metal cars to get to trapped passengers. Injury reports vary but 80 is the top number we've seen. It is said to have been a rear collision; the trailing train seems to have struck, derailed, and overtopped the preceding train, which had stopped. If you think someone you know was on these trains you are directed to call 202 727 9099 for information. Past Metro accidents detailed here.

Update 2: Overnight the death toll was increased to nine. Metro trains have equivalents of "black boxes" that record train speeds and operator commands and firefighters are still looking for those. The train operator who died has been identified as Jeanice McMillan of Springfield, Virginia.

Update 3: There's some question about the number of deaths; Mayor Fenty says there are seven confirmed, but the Washington Post as of 10:26 a.m. has it at nine.



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