As our Boston MBTA accident lawyers at Altman & Altman, LLP know, the injuries and damages from a serious train crash can be devastating. Just yesterday in Washington DC, at least 9 people died and over 70 people were taken to local hospitals after one subway train rammed into another train during the rush hour commute.
The force of impact from one train colliding with the other was so strong that the striking train became compressed to approximately one-third its actual size, and a number of people were crushed to death. Rescuers had to use a crane to locate some of the bodies and firefighters had to use other heavy equipment to cut open the cars and rescue the survivors that were trapped inside.
8 of the people that died were train passengers. Jeanice McMillan, the train operator of the striking train, was also killed in the deadly train collision.
The National Transportation Safety Board is trying to determine the cause of the deadly train crash. Some of the possible factors under consideration include signal failure, mechanical problems, computer failure, and train operator error. Investigators are working to retrieve recorders from the train that was hit. The train that initiated the collision, however, is an older train that does not come with this device.
NTSB official Debbie Hersman says that a few years ago, the NTSB had recommended that the older fleet either be retrofitted or phased out. Back then, the NTSB noted safety problems involving trains rolling back on the tracks and operators being unable to stop the them.
Hersman says it is “unacceptable” that Metro did not act on the recommendations. Metro says that it has, however, upgraded the emergency exits and braking systems of the older trains. The striking train in Monday’s crash belongs to the 1000 series of trains that, according to the Washington Post, is now being phased out. These trains make up 30% of the Metrorail’s train fleet. Officials are calling Monday’s train collision the worst in the Metrorail’s history.
NTSB: Train in crash was recommended for phaseout, Boston.com, June 23, 2009
Nine Killed in Red Line Crash, The Washington Post, June 23, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority