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Metro to inspect all escalators

By Ann Scott Tyson

5:55 p.m. Update:

Metro Assistant General Manager Dave Kubicek decided Thursday night that all Metro's escalators needed to be inspected to ensure safety, according to spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein.

"In light of recent incidents, he decided that a proactive precautionary measure would be in the best interest of safety, keeping in mind we have a strong safety culture that we are growing here," Farbstein said. She said the inspections began Thursday night.

Original post: Metro decided to launch a system-wide inspection of the hundreds of brakes on its escalators on Friday night as a precaution, following the discovery of two faulty brakes within less than a week -- one that caused serious rider

Metro employees will carry out the brake inspections on all of its 588 escalators as a "precautionary measure," said Metro spokesman Reggie Woodruff.

The inspection follows an escalator malfunction at L'Enfant Plaza Station last weekend in which a brake failed - apparently due to an oily brake pad -- and the metal staircase suddenly accelerated for about 18 seconds, sending a pile of people sprawling at the bottom and injuring 6 of them.

Then on Friday, Metro discovered a faulty brake at Gallery Place-Chinatown station after a news report of an escalator problem prompted an inspection of all the escalators in that station. Both escalators remain closed for repairs.

Woodruff declined to say who at Metro ordered the inspection or why, apart from the statement that it was a precaution.

The inspections will include brakes and brake pads and are expected to take about a week, and will cause the suspension of other escalator work. "All other work will be delayed temporarily until the brakes are inspected," Woodruff said.

By Ann Scott Tyson  | November 5, 2010; 5:19 PM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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As if they would know what to look for....

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 5, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow, taking these Metro employees off other work to inspect 588 escalators sounds like a hazard in itself! What else might happen while they are busy inspecting all of these escalators? Sounds like an outside contractor job to me.

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | November 6, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Any lawyer (like me) can tell you that conducting inspections like this is designed to help reduce liability if somebody else gets hurt on an escalator. That's all.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | November 6, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

DC: Full of lawyers, short of mechanics.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 8, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

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