- - Thursday, January 26, 2012

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Metro rail cracks snarl morning commute again

Metro officials are trying to determine what caused a Red Line rail to crack and cause significant delays during the Thursday morning commute, the second such incident in recent weeks.

The crack was discovered near the Tenleytown-AU station at about 7 a.m. Service was further delayed when a Red Line train between the Friendship Heights and Van Ness-UDC stations stopped because of a triggered safety mechanism.

A Metro official said the train stopped because the mechanism sensed a door was open. He also said the mechanism might have been triggered by a passenger leaning on a door. The conductor found the problem door and got the train moving.

The crack was repaired before the evening commute.

Two weeks ago, plummeting temperatures caused a 4-inch crack in a Yellow Line rail, near the Pentagon station. The crack was reported during the morning rush hour and caused significant delays on the Yellow and Blue lines.

Crews replaced the section of rail before the evening commute. A smaller crack was repaired on a Red Line track the same day.

Transit officials said at the time the problem was the result of overnight freezing, but temperatures Wednesday night and early Thursday morning were well above freezing.

Meredith Somers

Residents hospitalized from carbon monoxide fumes

Three D.C. residents were hospitalized Thursday morning with carbon monoxide poisoning from a leak in a Northwest row house, according to officials.

The incident occurred at about 7 a.m. in the 1700 block of P Street Northwest. The victims were taken to a hospital, with one of them in critical condition, the Metropolitan Police Department said. An inspector with Washington Gas said a basement furnace appeared to be the source of the leak. A friend of the home’s owner said the furnace had recently been serviced.

Andrea Noble

VIRGINIA

Pentagon shooter pleads guilty

An ex-Marine from Northern Virginia pleaded guilty Thursday and has agreed to serve a 25-year prison sentence on charges that he fired a series of overnight shots in 2010 at the Pentagon, the Marine Corps museum in Quantico and other military targets as part of what prosecutors called a campaign to strike fear throughout the region.

Prosecutors also revealed new details about shooter Yonathan Melaku’s intended next target: Arlington National Cemetery, where he was arrested before he was able to carry out a plan to deface gravestones there.

As part of Thursday’s plea deal, Melaku, 24, of Alexandria, pleaded guilty to destruction of U.S. property, use of a firearm in an act of violence and intention to injure a veterans’ memorial, namely the cemetery. Prosecutors and Melaku’s lawyer agreed to a prison sentence as part of the deal, and U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee said he would agree to the sentence as well.

Formal sentencing was delayed until April so a pre-sentence report can be prepared and Melaku’s lawyer can request a mental-health evaluation for his client.

Associated Press

 

 

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