Woman Dead, Dozens Injured After DC Metro Fills With Smoke
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Jan 13, 2015 in Train Accidents
UPDATE: January 16, 2015
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Officials say several passengers were reportedly still asking if help was on the way, nearly 30 minutes after a metro train filled with smoke and stopped in a tunnel just south of L'Enfant Plaza on Monday afternoon. According to the Washington Post, at least two passengers have retained counsel, allegedly accusing the Metro transit agency of negligence.
One woman died and more than 80 other passengers were hospitalized following Mondays incident. Authorities confirm several 911 calls were placed, as chaos ensued.
One passenger spoke with the news and relayed a scene of panic in the train passengers screaming, vomiting, and passing out. The passenger says information was scarce and people did not know what to do, resulting with many passengers choosing to evacuate before help arrived.
There are no official reports of an actual fire, authorities remain unclear about the cause of the electrical malfunction and officials have not commented on emergency response times or evacuation procedures. The incident is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, and Metro and D.C. say that hampers abilities to release information.
A metro rail car on the yellow line filled with smoke after it stopped in a tunnel just south of L'Enfant Plaza on Monday afternoon.
Investigators believe than an electrical malfunction caused the metro train to stop and fill with smoke. Two people were left in critical condition, and 84 others were being treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries. The fire and smoke overwhelmed one woman, who died before reaching treatment. A firefighter was also injured while attempting to rescue passengers.
While there were no reports of actual fire, passengers reported that the metro train stopped suddenly before reaching the station and filled with smoke. One passenger spoke with the news and relayed a scene of panic in the train passengers screaming, vomiting, and passing out before they could be removed from the train cars. Firefighters and emergency rescue personnel transported injured passengers via mass casualty buses to nearby hospitals, including George Washington University Hospital, Howard University Hospital, and MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
The metro station at L'Enfant Plaza was closed to all rail lines for much of the day on Monday. Today, the green and red lines will be operating on a normal schedule, but the blue, orange, and silver lines will be running fewer trains. The yellow line, where the accident occurred, is still closed.
This is the first incident on the DC metro station since a collision between two trains killed eight passengers and the train operator in 2009.
The attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan extend their condolences to all of those affected by this incident on the metro, and send their thanks to the rescue workers who were able to assist passengers during the emergency.
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