Monday, June 22, 2009

Metro derails, 2 dead

WASHINGTON - At least two people are dead and nine people are injured after a Metro Red Line train derailed and collided with another Metro train, officials say.

The six-car train derailed and then collided with another train between the Takoma Park and Fort Totten stations around 5 p.m. Monday, trapping several passengers.

The trains are "lodged on top of one another," D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Alan Etter says.

Rescue crews used heavy duty equipment to cut the train apart to free several people who were trapped. Crews appeared to be done with the extrication process just before 6:30 p.m.

At least 60 people have been taken off the trains, Metro General Manager John Catoe says.

The trains look like "a tangled roller coaster," reports WTOP's Patricia Guadalupe, who is on the scene.

Metro spokesperson Candace Smith calls the scene "terrible."

"One rail car is about a third of the way on top of another rail car," Smith says.

The train was headed toward the Shady Grove station at the time of the accident, which occurred near the Maryland-D.C. border.

Etter tells WTOP rescue crews are setting up for the "possibility of a mass casualty event."

All area hospitals have been advised to expect patients, Etter says.

Our prayers are surely with the injured, the families of the dead and the rescue workers.

I always enjoyed riding the DC Metro. It was clean and well maintained and the layout was simple enough for a tourist with halfway decent map reading skills to navigate