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Old 06-22-2009, 05:49 PM   #1
classicman
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Washington subway crash

2-Two killed, others injured in Washington subway crash
Quote:
WASHINGTON, June 22 (Reuters) - At least two people were killed and others were injured when a Washington D.C. subway train derailed and smashed into another train on tracks on the outskirts of the city during Monday's afternoon rush hour.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which runs the "Metro" subway system, said a six-car Red Line train headed out of town derailed and collided with another train at 5 p.m. EST/2100 GMT on Monday.

"At this point right now we can confirm that there are two fatalities," the authority said in a statement.

The accident trapped passengers in one or more of the subway cars. Emergency rescue personnel were seeking to free the passengers, while others carried injured people off the trains on stretchers.

"We are working to first get everyone outside of the train and everyone who needs medical attention will get (it)," the general manager of metro system, John Catoe, told reporters.

Catoe said that up to 70 people "walked off" the trains, but had no immediate estimate of the number of injured.

Fox television's local news affiliate showed passengers being escorted from a Metro train outside the Fort Totten station. The station said power to the station was shut off.

A reporter with the tv station said he saw what appeared to be a body covered with a sheet, and several injured passengers including one wearing a neck brace.

"One train was on top of another... I can confirm one fatality from having seen the victim," a CNN reporter at the scene said.

Witnesses said fire department vehicles and ambulances were also at the scene, while television pictures showed rescue officials taking injured people off the tracks.

Metro is a heavily used subway system in and around the U.S. capital.
Not that this isn't a terrible enough tragedy on its own, but doesn't Glatt ride public transportation? Hope he is ok...
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:01 PM   #2
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I'm fine
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:53 PM   #3
classicman
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Well thats good to hear.
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:14 AM   #4
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The death toll has risen to nine.

I believe HM takes the train.

Sound off, HM.

Here's a link that's updated more frequently.
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:57 AM   #5
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*shakes head* God that musthave been terrifying.
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:33 AM   #6
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It could have been a lot worse. The trains were heading into the city during the evening rush hour, which means they should have been fairly empty. If it had been one of the packed outbound trains, there would have been many more dead.

Happy Monkey drives from DC to VA, so he should be fine.

It's messed up. There had to be multiple failures for this to happen.
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:14 AM   #7
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I stay out of DC to the extent possible. The government there is generally run by idiots, and the place is very violent. It will probably turn out that somebody at the Metro did something stupid, was high on coke, or something else. Or maybe texting, like the driver in Boston.

I may sound extreme, but I have lived in Silver Spring for years, and things are better than when that coke-head Marion Barry was mayor, but they still elected him to the council, and he has recently exerted his moral authority (!) to oppose gay marriage.

Remember the controversy over the word "niggardly"? Some of the great civic leaders of DC thought it was a racial slur. That is some indication of their level of intelligence.
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:51 AM   #8
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The civic leaders don't run Metro, so that has nothing to do with it.

It's too soon to know what caused this.

I could write a very long post on this. In a nutshell, the trains are driven by computers. Autopilot, if you will. The computers get their information from thousands of sensors throughout the system. Those sensors are on the trains themselves (mainly in the doors) and also on the tracks. Either there is a problem with the computer, or there was a faulty sensor somewhere. The thing is, there are supposed to be multiple layers of safety so that one faulty sensor won't result in a crash. Sensors in trains fail all the time, and they take those trains out of service and fix the sensors. Those failed sensors never result in a crash, so there has to be more going on here. Probably some sensor on the track.

The drivers can take control of their train in an emergency, the driver of the train that rear ended the other must have been distracted or incapacitated, on top of the autopilot failing.

It's all very unusual, and required multiple layers of failure to happen.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:03 AM   #9
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On the radio they said that the NTSB recommended three years ago that they replace their equipment which was old and outdated.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:08 AM   #10
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It'll certainly be sorted out soon enough. The finger pointing and blame, the investigation... hopefully something positive can come out of it so that we prevent a similar problem in the future.

Glad you are ok Glatt.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dar512 View Post
On the radio they said that the NTSB recommended three years ago that they replace their equipment which was old and outdated.
There has been a huge budget problem for years, and much of the equipment in Metro is outdated and in need of maintenance or replacement. The safety stuff was supposedly being maintained though.

Part of the budget problem for Metro is that there hasn't been a dedicated outside funding source like other major cities have. It goes through two states and the District, so nobody feels like it's their responsibility. Like all public transportation, fares only cover like 50-75% of the operational costs.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
It's all very unusual, and required multiple layers of failure to happen.
This is why IT requires paranoid weirdos who are on the verge of the Autism spectrum with their obsessive thought processes. Nobody else is risk-averse enough. The IT guy who asks you frustrating questions and insists on doing things a certain way, is acting that way for a reason. Everybody else figures that things will "just work out" somehow, but that's not how it works. No system runs well without some weirdo losing sleep over it.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint View Post
This is why IT requires paranoid weirdos who are on the verge of the Autism spectrum with their obsessive thought processes.
You rang?
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:30 AM   #14
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What? No stimulus money earmarked for this? Sheesh! This is right in their backyard - WTF?
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:35 AM   #15
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Actually, I think there is money earmarked for local rail (Chicago's Metra expects some anyway). But it's not available yet.
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