DC Metro crash

Per the Washington Post:
A collision between two Metro trains on the Red Line between Takoma and Fort Totten has left two people dead and many seriously injured, according to preliminary reports.

All our DC Dopers ok?

that crash looks horrendous. they say the mayor will be giving an update around 7:15 dc time.

News reports say that police are bringing in cadaver dogs. The crash is only three hours old. Can dogs really tell the difference between the unconscious and the freshly dead?

Thankfully, I a) normally ride the Blue line and b) worked from home today.

I hope they can figure out why it happened - it sounds like they know what happened in terms of the main sequence of events, but not why some of those events happened.

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Dead stuff gives off “Cadaverine” and “Putresine” This is probably what the cadaver dogs would home in on.

Neither Mama Zappa nor I commute by Metro, so we’re OK. My one co-worker who commutes by Metro is also OK.

I saw the on-site news conference on TV. Official reports are four confirmed dead, over 70 injured, and at least one of those seriously. This is already the worst accident in Metro’s history. A local TV news reporter said there could be more people dead, but that has not been confirmed. Extremely sad.

Tomorrow’s trains may be affected by this - not just DC Metro, but freight rail, commuter rail, and AMTRAK. Just awful.

I would think that they would want to find both.

God, this is so scary. I used to live there, and use that line (passing those stations, regularly, even).

I really hope all our D.C. and area dopers are okay.

DC Doper checking in. I’m okay - I’m on the red line, but in Northwest, and I rarely venture out to Takoma/Ft. Totten.

It sounds like this thing may have been caused when one train ran into another that had been stopped at Ft. Totten. http://dcist.com/2009/06/red_line_train_derails_near_ft_tott.php How the hell that happens, I have no idea - if memory serves, there isn’t even a tunnel between Takoma and Ft. Totten. The track is outdoors all the way, and it was still daylight out. If this was operator error, it was a hell of a screwup.

Well, the operator of the train that was moving and crashed into the stationary train is one of the (now six) fatalities, so we may never know exactly what went wrong. :frowning:

Another DC doper here…all is well, though my partner and stepdaughter got off one of the trains at the last stop before it crashed. I’m hoping all my friends and co-workers are okay :frowning:

It is really mind-boggling…as Mr. Excellent says, that section of track has a clear sight-line with no tunnel, just a gentle curve.

Here’s an overhead shot from a helicopter
and a shot of the front car of the back train atop the back car of the first train.

I just found out about this. My cousin rides the Metro from DuPont Circle to Wheaton every evening after work. I assume she’s OK, because she usually leaves work later than 5.00.

I would call her, but it’s now 1.40 a.m. there. I sent her an email, and i hope she replies in the morning.

CNN is now saying nine dead.

They’ve also canceled all of the Brunswick MARC trains, the one I take, so I had to drive to work. Not all that bad for me since I can take the motorcycle, but I do feel sorry for those people coming in from West Virginia and the like. I also have a friend that takes the Red line, but I’m pretty sure he goes 4:30 or so. At least I hope he does. I haven’t talked to him today.

I have a ball game ticket this afternoon, so I’ll be riding in on the Orange line from the west side. I was already planning to go early, maybe I should go even earlier.

I immediately texted my sister and niece when I saw the news - she works right near the Silver Springs station - a couple weeks ago when we were visiting, we rode the Marc from Washington Grove to visit her at work, then took the Red into town from there. They are both fine, were already home in fact, but since the Marc she rides also the Brunswick - is canceled today, they (niece is interning with my sister) are taking a girls day off.

DC commuter checking in.

I ride the Orange line, seldom venture onto the Red line, and have never been in the area of the crash. I didn’t even know anything had happened until people I haven’t talked to in a while started calling my house. :expressionless:

Current figures (as of 9:46 EDT) are 7 dead, 76 injured.

They say this type of crash is “impossible” because of fail-safe braking devices.

Nothing but speculation so far, but the Post narrative says the train operator (who perished in the crash) informed the passengers they’d be waiting for a train stopped ahead, and then started moving, picked up speed, and struck the stopped train. So it seems like she knew at some point there was a train ahead.

Metro Grove is the station I get on every morning, and I get off in Silver Spring. It would be funny if we were on the same train. Wish I could have the day off, but I had half the day off yesterday and I’ll be off tomorrow as well due to a hurt tooth.