Washington Metro Commuter Prepare Incident Raises Concerns of Passenger Basic safety

Alison Rombough

The Washington Metropolitan Space Transit Authority (WMATA) is a tri-jurisdictional authorities agency that operates practice and bus transit companies. The Metro, as it is referred to as, is funded by the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland.

Nine persons have been killed and quite a few additional passengers were being injured when two Washington Metro subway trains collided on June 21, 2009, Monday afternoon in Washington, D.C.  One particular commuter, known as Metro practice 112, crashed into the again of a different stationary commuter on the Metropolitan Region Transit Authority’s Red line in between the Takoma and Fort Totten Metrorail stations. The National Transportation Protection board (NHTSA) is investigating but will never most likely have a report on what brought about the collision for many months. Right here is what we do know.

Metro educate 112 was the oldest in the fleet and was delivered to Metro sometime concerning 1975 to 1978.  The subject train was staying operated by an staff with 3 or so months of knowledge.  However, Metro 112 was normally managed by a laptop as opposed to the operator, unless of course the educate was in a guide mode. It is staying described that Metro 112 was in “computerized manner” at the time of collision meaning that the computer system was functioning the teach, not the prepare operator on board.  It is also staying described that the unexpected emergency brake on teach 112 had been depressed, which could mean that the coach operator tried out to manually prevent the prepare to avoid collision.  The lever could have, nonetheless, been pressured forward by human body get hold of or other call. The NTSB has also verified that Metro 112 was two months overdue for scheduled brake routine maintenance.

The other piece of info our attorneys are focusing on is that federal officials experienced advisable that teach 112 really should have been replaced due to the fact of fears about its age. Basic safety watchdogs warned Washington’s metro operators three years ago about weaknesses in getting older subway cars like coach 112 on problems of crashworthiness. The NTSB has also reported that it informed Washington Metro in 2006 that the carriage in its 1000-sequence trains, like practice 112,  was most likely to unreasonably crumple in an collision jeopardizing the protection of travellers and crew.

Clearly, the investigation is presently concentrated on the onboard personal computers that handle the trains velocity and braking, the Metro track signal method which was specially created to protect against collisions these kinds of as this 1, and on the age of practice 112, one particular of around 300 1000-sequence. We will never know for months what the induce, or various leads to, of this deadly commuter coach accident were being.  On the other hand, it is by now clear that this accident could have been averted.  The safety units and techniques are made to preclude and incident like this from ever happening.  A thing plainly went wrong. Remember it was only 8 months back that one more commuter train in Los Angles California claimed the lives of 20 travellers.  The operator in that occasion was working a mobile phone at the time of the collision.

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