Washington Metro collision kills nine, injures many

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

At least nine people have been reported killed in a serious collision incident between two metro trains in Washington, D.C., United States.

The collision which occurred on the Red Line between Fort Totten and Takoma Park stations of the city's Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority during the early evening (1700 local time) is also reported to have injured a number of other passengers. The fatalities include the operator of one of the trains. At 7:58 pm local time, two more fatalities were confirmed, resulting in a total of six deaths.

File photo of a Red Line metro train.
Image: Ben Schumin.

In a statement to media, Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty was quoted as saying "With the four confirmed fatalities, it is my preliminary understanding that this would be then the deadliest accident in the history of our Metro train transit system," at a news conference following the incident.

The Metro's general Manager John Catoe was also quoted as saying "We are extremely saddened that there are fatalities as a result of this accident, which has touched our Metro family. We hope to have more details about the casualties later today. Our safety officials are investigating, and will continue to investigate until we determine why this happened and what must be done to ensure it never happens again,"

The cause of the collision incident is still unclear, although it has been suggested by some sources that a derailment or head on collision may have led to the incident.