Two Red Line Trains Collide, Six 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 six fatalities, including a female train operator. There were also several injuries, many serious, according reports from the scene. This is the deadliest accident in Metrorail’s 33-year history.
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.
Free shuttle buses are operating between Silver Spring and Rhode Island Avenue Metrorail stations to help customers get around the incident.
Metro officials are working hand-in-hand with the National Transportation Safety Board. People who believe that their relatives may have been on board the train can contact Metropolitan Police at 311 to find out which hospital they have been taken to for medical assistance. A family reunification center has been established at 501 Riggs Road, NE, in Washington.
“This is an incredibly tragic day and our hearts go out to the families of those who suffered fatalities and to those whose loved ones are injured,” said Metro General Manager John Catoe. “We are committed to investigate this accident until we determine why this happened and what must be done to ensure it never happens again,”
Metro officials do not yet 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 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 sixth 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 9:20 pm, June 22, 2009.