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NTSB Releases Report On Metro Accidents

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A report released by the National Transportation Safety Board faults three Metro accidents on inadequate safeguards and lack of communication.
David Schultz
A report released by the National Transportation Safety Board faults three Metro accidents on inadequate safeguards and lack of communication.

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a final report on three Metro accidents, including a 2010 incident at the Rockville station that killed two technicians.

The NTSB faulted what it calls Metro's inadequate safeguards designed to protect workers from approaching hi-rail vehicles--in the January 2010 accident, the technicians were killed while they were repairing the signal system on a section of track.

The report says several on-track maintenance vehicles were scheduled to move through the area where the automatic train control technicians were working, but there was inadequate communication by the Operations Control Center. The crew was not advised of the presence of other workers in the area. The NTSB credits Metro for taking several actions to address roadway worker safety, so they did not make any recommendations to Metro.

In a February 2010 incident in which a Red Line train derailed at the Farragut North station, the NTSB found the train operator failed to follow proper operating procedures, which resulted in the train operating past a red signal.

In November 2009, in the West Falls Church rail yard in Virginia, the NTSB determined a train struck the rear of a standing train because of operator error--the operator and two other metro employees suffered minor incidents.

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