Investigation underway into overnight Red Line welding accident
A contractor died and two WMATA employees were injured overnight in a welding accident in the Red Line tunnel between Union Station and Judiciary Square stations.
The contractor was providing welding services in the tunnel when the incident occurred shortly after midnight Sunday. He was transported by EMS to a local hospital where he died of his injuries. Two WMATA employees also were transported to local hospitals and are being treated for injuries that are serious but considered non-life-threatening.
Metro is conducting an investigation into the cause of the accident and has notified both the Tri-state Oversight Committee (TOC) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
All Red Line track work was suspended, and a Red Line safety "stand down" was ordered to brief crews on the incident, offer counseling services to anyone who needs them, and reinstruct employees on safety procedures. Work will continue to restore the track after all safety briefings and on-site investigations have been completed.
"Our first order of business after attending to the injured is to prevent anyone else from being hurt," said Chief Safety Officer James Dougherty. "We also need to ensure we have the safest possible working conditions going forward, which means learning lessons from the investigation into this accident."
Free shuttle buses will continue to operate between Dupont Circle and NoMa-Gallaudet stations until rail service is restored. Normal service will resume before the Monday morning commute.
News release issued at 6:11 am, October 6, 2013.