D.C. Metro Train was in Automatic Mode – But Operator Apparently Hit Brakes Before Crash

June 24, 2009

(ChattahBox) — As we reported yesterday, there appears to have been negligence involved in the D.C. Metro crash that claimed nine lives and sent 76 people to area hospitals.  Metro sources reported that the first two cars of the train that struck the other, were two months overdue for scheduled maintenance of some braking components. While it’s still not clear whether the operator may have had some negative role in the clash it has been learned she had activated the emergency brakes in a failed effort to stop before the accident, federal officials said yesterday. The train operator, 42-year-old Jeanice McMillan who was just four months on the job, was among the nine killed in Monday’s crash

Debbie Hersman of the National Transportation Safety Board said the emergency brake button, known as the “mushroom,” was depressed, and the steel rails showed evidence that the brakes were engaged.

Investigators also said the moving train was in automatic mode, which means onboard computers should have controlled its speed and stopped it before it got too close to the stationary train. Part of the investigation eill turn to why built-in safety features of that system did not prevent the crash. The crash was so violent that the striking train jackknifed violently into the air, falling atop the train it hit.

Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., mayor Adrian Fenty said on “Good Morning America” today, Monday’s accident should fall “squarely” on local officials.

“We do have an independent train system… [but] let’s not try and disperse the blame. Let’s put it on the decision makers and the leaders,” Fenty said, referring to both city and state officials.

Fenty said that while replacing or retrofitting the cars “to make them more crash resistant” would have been expensive, “lives are more important than finances.”


Comments

One Response to “D.C. Metro Train was in Automatic Mode – But Operator Apparently Hit Brakes Before Crash”

  1. D.C. Metro Train was in Automatic Mode – But Operator Apparently Hit Brakes Before Crash Adding Info on June 24th, 2009 10:01 am

    […] first two cars of the train that struck the other, were two months overdue for scheduled … Read Full Post: D.C. Metro Train was in Automatic Mode – But Operator Apparently Hit Brakes Be… Adding Related Info:Driver of DC Metro train that hit stopped train remembered as employee … – […]

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