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How Metro responds to safety issues will be the focus of next week's National Transportation Safety Board hearing into last June's crash that killed nine people. The NTSB's Robert Sumwalt will oversee the hearing, which starts Tuesday. Metro's general manager, chief safety officer and board chairman are all scheduled to testify that day.
But Sumwalt says that does not mean Metro's management would solely be at fault for any lax safety oversight that might be found.
"We do want to explore the oversight of WMATA," he says. "But that oversight is the federal oversight, the state oversight and the oversight of the agency itself from its own board of directors."
Another reason safety oversight is so important according to Sumwalt: the NTSB has four open investigations into accidents involving Metro since last June.
"It's disturbing, and we intend to learn more about the oversight of WMATA through this public hearing," he says.
The hearing will not be the end of the investigation, which includes final recommendations from the board. The NTSB would like that to happen by the anniversary of the crash in June.
Matt Bush reports....