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What Are Arcing Incidents?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 10-Jul-2017

On June 23, WMATA temporarily suspended Red Line service at two locations. Service was suspended between Medical Center and Grosvenor, as well as Dupont Circle and Van Ness. According to WMATA, two arcing incidents were to blame for the temporary shutdown. More than a dozen DC Metro arcing incidents have occurred since the start of 2017. In April, DC Metro services along the Red Line at Farragut North and Judiciary Square were shut down after an arcing incident created smoke.

Arcing incidents refer to instances where electricity escapes from the third rail. This can occur when conditions on the railway allow electrical currents to break free from their prescribed path. Stray electrical currents can generate intense heat, which may create fire and large amounts of smoke. Arcing incidents are very serious events, and in the past, have resulted in catastrophic injuries and deaths.

One January 12, 2015, a Yellow Line train leaving L’Enfant Plaza stalled only 800 feet into its journey. Within moments, railcars carrying hundreds of passengers filled with smoke. One passenger died and dozens more were injured.

The tragedy that unfolded on the Yellow Line outside of L’Enfant Plaza was started by electrical arcing. Other factors, such as malfunctioning ventilation equipment and poor communication between Metro staff and emergency responders, are believed to have contributed to the death and injuries during this incident.

Can I File a Lawsuit If I Was Injured on DC Metro?

Thousands of DC residents rely on Metro services to get around, so it is disheartening and disturbing to hear that lapses in safety are still a regular occurrence on railcars and buses. However, family members of passengers who are killed while using these servicers or injured passengers may have legal options they can pursue against WMATA.

The Washington DC personal injury attorneys at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC have a proven record of holding WMATA accountable for accidents. Attorneys Patrick Regan and Salvatore Zambri have represented clients harmed in the 2015 L’Enfant Plaza incident and 2009 Fort Totten collision.

Categories: WMATA
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