History of Two-Train Metro Crashes
Today's accident is at least the third crash between Metro trains to result in casualties in the past 15 years.
The most recent collision occurred in November 2004 when an empty train between the Cleveland Park and Woodley Park stations slid backward down a steep grade and into a train at the Woodley Park station at about 30 miles per hour, sending 20 people to the hospital. The driver of the second train was credited with beginning a rapid evacuation of the train before the collision.
As in today's crash, one train wound up on top of the other. See photos of the aftermath of that collision here.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators found after that accident that operators were ill-informed about what to do if their train began rolling backward too quickly, and that many were under the impression that all Metro trains had computerized systems that would prevent such accidents.
The other crash happened in January 1996, and also involved over-reliance on Metro trains' computer systems. In that case, a train operator was killed and two passengers were injured when their train's computerized brakes failed and it slid through the Shady Grove station during a blizzard and collided with an out-of-service train.
The train was moving at 75 mph at the time of the crash and had already slid through two stations, but at the time, Metro operators were not permitted to manual control braking during bad weather.
Christopher Dean Hopkins
June 22, 2009; 5:45 PM ET
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Posted by: tonyg31 | June 22, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse
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