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.