Investigators continued to sift for clues Tuesday into what caused a Metro train to crash into another, killing nine people, including the operator, and injuring 70 — the deadliest subway crash in D.C. history.
D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty reduced the death toll by two Tuesday morning in the deadliest Metro crash in history. He said two are in stable condition and that one remains in critical condition following the red line accident that occurred at about 5 p.m.
Later in the afternoon, the number climbed back up to nine dead.
The red line train was headed into the nation’s capital during the evening rush hour Monday.
The operator of the back train, Jeanice McMillan of Springfield, Va., was a Metro employee since January 2007, Metro spokesman Steve Taubenkibel told the Associated Press.
The crash, which occurred minutes after 5 p.m. near the Fort Totten rail station in Northeast, left twisted rail cars stacked on top of each other and scores of passengers limping from the wreckage while talking on cell phones. Hundreds of rescuers used heavy machinery to extract the injured.
“The scene is as horrific as you can imagine,” Mr. Fenty said.
Mr. Fenty said more than 70 people were taken to hospitals. D.C. fire and emergency services Chief Dennis L. Rubin said six people were injured seriously, 14 suffered moderate injuries and more than 50 people received injuries not considered life-threatening.
“Michelle and I were saddened by the terrible accident in Northeast Washington, D.C. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends affected by this tragedy. I want to thank the brave first responders who arrived immediately to save lives,” President Barack Obama said Monday.
Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. said the six-car train slammed into the second six-car train between the Fort Totten and Takoma stations.
“The next train came up behind it, and for reasons we do not know, plowed into the back of that train,” Mr. Catoe said.
Mr. Catoe refused to comment on the possible cause of the accident. But, apparently, one train slammed into the other as it waited for a third train to clear the Fort Totten station.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will take the lead in investigating the accident. Debbie Hersman, an NTSB board member, said a team of nine investigators was on the scene. FBI agents were also assisting with the evidence collection.View Entire Story
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