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NTSB updates this week's Metro accident investigation

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a statement updating its investigation into the Tuesday accident that killed two Metro employees working on the Red Line. The NTSB said:

  • The two employees were working with a third employee until the third employee's shift ended a few hours before the accident. The NTSB didn't provide any details on the role of the third employee. The two men killed, Jeff Garrard, 49, of Clarksburg, and Sung Duk Oh, 68, of Montgomery Village, were automatic train control technicians. No details have been released on whether one of the two technicians had been assigned to watch for oncoming traffic, as is generally required under Metro's safety rules.
  • Investigators are reviewing Metro's rules governing the safety of employees on the right-of-way, de-energizing the third rail power and establishing work zones.
  • Twelve employees have been interviewed: the four employees in the hi-rail vehicle, the three-ton truck that struck the workers; three employees in the Operations Control Center, which monitors the train system; and three track employees. Three more employees were scheduled to be interviewed Friday.
  • Interview information from the Operations Control Center personnel will be reviewed and correlated with radio and telephone recordings.
  • All radio and telephone communication associated with the accident is being compiled for investigators.
  • The NTSB's Highway Vehicle Group is inspecting the vehicle involved in the accident, reviewing maintenance records and performance specifications from the vehicle manufacturer, and developing an estimate of how fast the vehicle was moving.
  • A sight distance test, which will include evaluating visibility at the time of the accident, is scheduled for next week.
  • The NTSB has asked to review Metro's training guidelines related to the tasks being performed at the time of the accident.

Related post: Metro responds on transit safety issues

By Robert Thomson  |  January 29, 2010; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  Metro , Safety  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail safety  
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