A collision on the Washington, D.C., Metro’s Red Line last night has killed at least nine people and left another 76 injured, The Washington Post reports.
The collision, the worst in the Metrorail system’s history, occurred between the Fort Totten and Takoma stations. One train had stopped to wait for a preceding train to exit Fort Totten before proceeding to that station. Another train, also en route to Fort Totten, slammed into the stopped train at high speed, launching its front car on top of the rear car of the stopped train.
Authorities transported most of the injured to three area hospitals where they are being treated for a variety of fractures, cuts and bruises. Severity of the injuries ranged from minor to critical.
Experts believe some error in the signal system bears the greatest responsibility for the accident. The system, more automated than that of the subway system most New York City personal injury lawyers are familiar with, completely and automatically controls speed and braking of Metrorail trains. While trains are running in automatic mode, operators are only responsible for closing the train’s doors and operating the emergency brake. According to early reports, the emergency brake was not activated in yesterday’s crash.
Clearly, Metro’s signal system should have prevented the collision. It is not yet apparent what went wrong. The best New York personal injury lawyers know there are any number of ways aging or faulty equipment can malfunction. Over the years Metrorail has gone to great lengths to maintain its signal system. It goes without saying that once it determines the cause of this collision further work is in order.
At the time of publication, D.C. Police were still identifying the dead and notifying their families. The personal injury lawyers at New York’s Perecman Firm extend their condolences to the families of the dead and their empathy to the injured.