Accident de tren în Washington

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Cel puţin nouă persoane au murit şi peste 80 au fost rănite în urma coliziunii dintre două trenuri în Washington. Ciocnirea a avut loc în jurul orei 17.00, ora locală, şi se ştie că cele două trenuri se a flau pe acelaşi linie, unul dintre ele staţionând. Oficialii au declarat că încă nu au găsit o explicaţie a accidentului, dar că anchetatorii caută printre rămăşiţele trenurilor, dispozitivele care înregistrează viteza de operare şi comenzile. Primarul Adrian Fenty a numit accidentul ca fiind cel mai tragic de acest gen din ultimii 30 de ani, dar şi al treilea ce a avut loc într-un oraş mare, în ultimele nouă luni.
(Sursa: CNN)

WASHINGTON - Confirming an earlier report, Metro leaders say nine people were killed Monday in the collision involving two Red Line trains in the District.
Metro spokeswoman Candace Smith says four bodies were recovered from the wreckage Monday after the rush-hour crash. Five more were removed Tuesday.

Smith says two men and seven women were killed, including the operator of the train.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the deadliest accident in Metro history and are focusing - in part - on aging cars in the subway fleet.

One inbound six-car train struck another inbound six-car train that was standing still Monday at the height of the afternoon rush.

The oldest cars in Metro's fleet -- the 1000 series cars -- are the ones in question. Those cars are the ones that struck the train that was standing still. The struck train included newer series 5000 and 3000 cars, and had nine data recorders.

"We are not expecting to get any information off the 1000 series cars," said Debbie Hersman, National Transportation Safety Board member.

Hersman, in interviews with WTOP and during the news conference, said the older series cars are not likely to have any good recording devices on them. The priority will be to find any event recorders that may have been on the trains, she says.

"The striking train does not have that same level of recorders," she said.

The NTSB had previously recommended to Metro that older cars be upgraded with data recorders. The NTSB made the recommendation in 2006. Metro's General Manager John Catoe said new cars for the aging fleet are on order.

"We recommended to WMATA to either retrofit those cars or to phase them out of the fleet," Hersman said.

The NTSB's investigation will include a look at Metro's train maintenance and equipment.

Hersman said investigators will try to determine whether the striking train's brakes were applied. She says there may be physical evidence on the scene.

Investigators will also determine whether Metro's fail-safe computerized system, which controls speed and braking, worked properly.

"We need to see if that system actually what was being used at the time and if there were any faults," Hersman said. "We're going to be looking at the tracks, at the signal system and at the train operation to understand what happened."

Hersman said the investigators will also look at Metro's signal system and at its tracks.

"We are going to take a look at the track geometry," she said.

Additionally, the NTSB will investigate Metro's cell phone and texting records.

"Our teams have been working through the night, and we're trying to make sure we document and collect all of the perishable evidence," Hersman told WTOP.

"I think we're going to be on scene as long as it takes," Hersman said.

"This is a tragedy beyond belief," Metro General Manager John Catoe said on WTOP. "My heart is heavy with the weight of this grief."

In total, 76 people went to the hospital. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty said Tuesday two critical patients remain hospitalized.

Officials are still working to identify the dead. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said people who believes their loved ones were on the train can dial 311 in the city. If you live outside the District, call 202-737-4404.

Among the dead is 42-year-old Jeanice McMillan of Springfield, Va. She was operating the trailing train. Metro says she had only been a train operator since 2007.

"I give my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives," Catoe said.

Because of the train accident, Metro is running limited service on the Red Line. MARC's Brunswick line is canceled Tuesday. And, roads around the area are closed.

President Barack Obama has sent his condolences to the victims of the crash.

"Michelle and I were saddened by the terrible accident in Northeast Washington D.C. today," Obama said in a statement issued Monday night. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends affected by this tragedy."

The president also thanked rescue personnel who helped to save lives.

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