DC Metro passenger killed in smoke incident

file photo

A passenger on the Washington, D.C., Metrorail subway system was killed on Monday in an incident involving heavy smoke in a train tunnel. 

A train on Metro’s Yellow Line that was heading toward northern Virginia was filled with smoke after an electrical issue resulted in a loss of power. 

A woman who was transported to a local hospital after being exposed to smoke later died, according to a Washington Post report. Approximately 80 people were still being treated at area hospitals Monday evening after passengers were evacuated from the downed train. 

{mosads}Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Officials said the station where the smoke incident occurred, L’Enfant Plaza, was closed. The station is a busy transfer location on the Metrorail system that is that served by five of the agency’s six subway lines. 

“Green/Yellow lines: Rail service SUSPENDED between Gallery Place and Navy Yard & Pentagon,” Metro tweeted at about 6 p.m. “Seek alternate travel options.” 

Metro riders complained of crowded conditions and lengthy delays at other stations during Monday evening’s rush hour as a result of the transfer station’s closure. 

Metro Transit Police tweeted that Monday’s incident was being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. 

“Advised @NTSB is launching an investigation into L’Enfant incident,” the transit police department tweeted. “As a result, all info related to investigation will come from NTSB.” 

The agency confirmed it was looking into the accident, which resulted in Metro’s first passenger fatality since a high-profile crash on Metro’s Red Line in 2009. 

“NTSB has opened an investigation into today’s incident at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station in DC,” the agency tweeted. “Investigators are on the scene.”

Newly inaugurated Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), who is a former member of the Metro Board of Directors, said Monday evening that she was “saddened” by the fatality about the capital area subway system, which is the 2nd busiest transit network in the U.S. 

“We are all saddened by today’s fatality aboard the Metrorail, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the passenger who passed away,” Bowser said in a statement. “I want to thank our brave first responders who assisted passengers during the evacuation and with treatment at the scene. I have been in contact with the WMATA leadership, and we will continue to keep the District’s resources available in the aftermath of the incident.”

Reps. Gerry Connolly and Don Beyer, two Democrats representing northern Virginia districts, issued a joint statement:

“We are heartbroken at the news of today’s troubling events on Metro and await a clear and thorough investigation of the events that led to today’s tragedy. No one should fear for their lives on their commute. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We will work with Metro and the NTSB to pursue the cause of this tragedy so that Metro can work to ensure it does not ever happen again.”

Metro officials have not identified a cause for the smoke that led to Monday’s rush hour problems. 

— Updated at 9:50 p.m.

— Cristina Marcos contributed.

Tags Gerry Connolly National Transportation Safety Board Washington Metro
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