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UPDATED: Victim’s pre-arrival video inside smoke filled Metro train – 1 dead, 2 critical after 2-alarm mass casualty incident in Washington, DC

UPDATE

Video above from passenger Jonathan Rogers, who did CPR for 20 minutes on the woman who died Monday afternoon aboard a DC Metro train that filled in the tunnel near the L’Enfant Plaza Station. Two other passengers are in critical condition, a DC firefighter was injured and 84 others were transported to area hospitals. The firefighter is reported to have serious, but non-life threatening injuries. In all 200 people were brought out of the tunnel. The NTSB says it’s not clear yet what caused the Green/Yellow Line Tunnel to fill with smoke.

Some people said they waited almost an hour to be rescued. From The Washington Post:

The situation began to unfold shortly before 3:30 p.m. Eugene A. Jones, the interim chief of D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services, said firefighters did not immediately enter the tunnel to help the riders because they were not sure whether the subway’s electrified third rail had been deactivated.

But Jones said the delay was “nothing like” the length of time described by passengers.

“While the power may have been turned off to the track bed where the firefighters would go in to make rescues, they heard trains running on the lower level” of the station, Jones said. “So in their mind, they wanted to make sure that before they put people on the track bed that the power was actually off.”

The incident is reminiscent of an incident in 2000 where a Metro train filled with passengers was sent to check out a report of smoke in the tunnel near Foggy Bottom and became trapped. Similar to Monday’s incident, hundreds of panicked passengers were stuck in a smoke filled tunnel until DC firefighters came to their rescue. In the 2000 incident there was an electrical fire on the tracks

Today (Tuesday) is the 33rd anniversary of Metro’s first fatal accident involving passengers. That occurred in a Green Line tunnel just a short time after and a short distance from where  Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the 14th Street Bridge. Three passengers were killed and 25 were injured in that derailment.

For more details and news coverage on yesterday’s incident watch the video below and  check out these links: WUSA9.com; The Washington Post; WTOP Radio; WRC-TV/NBC-4; WTTG-TV/FOX 5

EARLIER

More tweets from MDFireNews.com

Starting just before 4:00 p.m. ET, the DC Fire & EMS Department has been dealing with a mass casualty incident in the Green/Yellow line of Metro at the L’Enfant Plaza Station. A second alarm was sounded as firefighters and Metro worked to evacuate trains through a tunnel filled with smoke. Here is the latest tweet from @DCFIREMS at 5:16 p.m. and below that are tweets from passengers and others.

WTOP Radio:

A woman who was on a Metro train that filled with smoke near the L’Enfant Plaza Station Monday afternoon has died.

Metro’s General Manager Richard Sarles says the woman was in distress on that stopped train. She has not yet been identified.

“My heart goes out to her family,” Sarles says.

Two other people were taken to a local hospital in critical condition. A busload of 40 people were taken to Howard University Hospital and 20 to 25 others were taken to Washington Hospital Center, Sarles says.

What caused the heavy smoke, which passengers described as an orange-black, is under investigation, Sarles says.

WJLA-TV:

L’Enfant Plaza was shut down late Monday afternoon due to thick smoke in the Metro station.

People waiting for trains were evacuated from the station and fire officials said passengers were also removed from a disabled train inside of the tunnel.

At least six people were taken to local hospitals complaining of smoke inhalation, including one person whom D.C. Fire officials described as having a ‘life-threatening” condition.

Fire officials did not elaborate, but ABC7 News partner WTOP radio reported that a female passenger was unresponsive with no pulse after CPR was performed on her. She was rushed from the scene in an ambulance.

 

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