Two Red Lines Trains Collide, Four Fatalities
Customers should avoid the Red Line Monday and Tuesday
Two six-car Red Line trains collided at 5 p.m. today, Monday, June 22, resulting in four fatalities, including a female train operator. There were also several injuries, many serious, according reports from the scene.
Metro officials recommend that people avoid the Red Line the remainder of Monday and Tuesday, or expect significant delays as the area of track involved in the accident will remain closed to train traffic.
Trains are operating between Glenmont and Silver Spring Metrorail stations and between Shady Grove and Rhode Island Avenue Metrorail stations for the remainder of the day. (Please note that this is a change in locations.)
Shuttle buses are operating between Silver Spring and Rhode Island Avenue Metrorail stations to help customers get around the incident.
Emergency officials remain at the scene. Metro officials are also working with the National Transportation Safety Board. People who believe that their relatives may have been on board the train can contact Metropolitan Police at 202-727-9099 to find out which hospital they have been taken to for medical assistance.
“We are extremely saddened that there are fatalities as a result of this accident, which has touched our Metro family. We hope to have more details about the casualties later today. Our safety officials are investigating, and will continue to investigate until we determine why this happened and what must be done to ensure it never happens again,” Metro General Manager John Catoe said.
Metro officials do not know the cause of the collision and are not likely to know the cause for several days as the investigation unfolds. Both trains were on the same track headed toward Shady Grove Metrorail station, according to preliminary reports. The female operator was on the trailing train.
The only other time in Metrorail’s 33-year history that there were customer fatalities was in January 1982, when three people died as a result of a derailment between the Federal Triangle and Smithsonian Metrorail stations. The only other time that Metrorail had a collision was in 2004 when two trains collided at the Woodley Park/Zoo-Adams Morgan Metrorail station, in which there were some minor injuries.
This is the fifth of several updates.
Media contact for this news release: Lisa Farbstein at 202-962-1051.
For all other inquiries, please call customer service at 202-637-7000.
News release issued at 7:40 pm, June 22, 2009.