(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Be careful Red Line Metro Riders! RT @metro_man Red line crashed!
That was the tweet I got from MeggiePoo as I wrapped things up at my office. I wrote it off as a routine fender bender that causes most of the Metro Fails we all experience on a daily basis. I drive home from my office down the street to my home, thinking how lucky I am not to be stuck in the Metro system.
I arrived home and turn on NBC4 to see the dramatic image of two Metro trains collide and stack on top of each other. I listen and watch while eating dinner and started to take it all in. Mid-bite I realized that the accident happened on the same line my roommate takes from her Silver Spring office back home to Arlington. I drop my things and run to my cell phone.
Those were the longest 90 seconds of my life as I waited to see if she would answer.
My roommate finally did, she missed that train by five minutes and was stuck on the platform, however she was safe and found a ride home.
Here’s what we know now (see update below)
- At least 4 people are dead (one confirmed to be a female WMATA employee- a train operator), over 100 are injured
- One train has appeared to rear end the other- this is not a head to head collision
- There have been reports that there was track work scheduled on the Red Line earlier today
- FBI is on the scene to assist but there is no reason to suspect that this was a criminal act
- The rest of the lines appear to be working but they are moving slow
- Adrian Fenty will hold a press conference soon
Here’s the official word from WMATA:
A six-car Red Line train headed in the direction of Shady Grove derailed between the Takoma and Fort Totten Metrorail stations today and was involved in a collision with another train at 5 p.m. today, Monday, June 22.
Metro officials advise that people avoid the Red Line this afternoon. Trains are operating between Glenmont and Takoma Metrorail and between Shady Grove and Brookland stations for the remainder of the day.
There are preliminary reports of injuries on board, some serious. Emergency officials are responding to the scene.
This being said- avoid the Red Line at all costs.
Twitter has been crazy and DCist is all over the situation.
As I return to watch more, my hopes and prayers go out to everyone in the District- I hope everyone makes it back home safe!
UPDATE 8:59 PM: As the night winds down let’s do a recap and review of the latest
- A correction on an earlier title of the post, the Metro crash occurred on the Red Line between the Takoma and Ft. Totten Stations.
- More detail and the actual accident: around 5 PM today a train was waiting on the tracks for the platform ahead to open up when another train slammed into it from behind. The trains were six-car trains and were headed in the same direction. The female operator of the trailing train died.
- The Washington Post reports that at least six people are dead and scores of passengers are injured and are being described as “walking wounded” in what is being called the deadliest accident in Metro history. The last time two trains crashed was back in November 2004.
- The Metro is still operating between Glenmont and Silver Spring and between Shady Grove and Rhode Island Avenue. Around the accident scene Metro is offering a shuttle bus service.
- If you are seeking information on anyone that may have been riding on those trains should call the Metro Emergency Information line at 202-737-4404. If you live in Washington DC you can also call 311.
- Metro reports that the sections of the Red Line where the accident occurred will be closed through tomorrow, so plan your commutes accordingly.
Here is video of the Mayor’s press conference earlier tonight:
After the Mayor was on, the Metro Chief provided more details on the accident: