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A "Crashing Jolt"

Tom Baker, 47, of Washington said he was in the first car of the train that landed on top. He estimated eight to 10 passengers in his car.

They had pulled out of Takoma Park on the way to Ft. Totten when the female conductor announced that they were holding because there was a train in front of them.
Shortly thereafter, he said, the train started moving again. Within a minute there was an "enormous crashing jolt."

"You could hear all this crashing and glass breaking," Baker said. "I didn't hear any brakes at all." He said that you could see the train lifting up in to the air. "When the dust settled, the entire front of the train was gone and they could see down to the train on below them.

There were numerous injuries in his car; he said; Seats were ripped out by the force and tossed around. A man who was trapped between two seats; a woman was trapped under a pile of seats. "We could hear her screaming," said Baker. "People were talking to her trying to keep her calm."

Baker was thrown to the ground, but not hurt. He said he felt "very lucky."

-- Roz Helderman

By Washington Post staff  |  June 22, 2009; 7:28 PM ET
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