Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

ENCORE!

Haute Couture: the hand-stitched clothing made in Paris that sells for the price of small yachts

Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Netanyahu resists international pressure to stop air strikes on Gaza

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

  • Kurdish forces take over two oilfields in northern Iraq

    Read more

  • Are French high school students getting smarter?

    Read more

  • Italy’s Trentin wins seventh stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Disgraced Suarez leaves Liverpool for Barcelona

    Read more

  • In pictures: Chanel, Dior and so much more at the Paris couture shows

    Read more

  • French ‘Civic Service’ eyes massive expansion amid huge demand

    Read more

  • In Pictures: Petrol station hit by Hamas rockets

    Read more

  • Manhunt as FIFA partner flees Rio hotel to avoid arrest

    Read more

  • Video: Palestinians fear full Israeli military offensive in Gaza

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

Americas

Washington subway crash kills nine

©

Video by Katherine SPENCER

Latest update : 2009-06-23

The death toll from Monday's subway crash in Washington DC has risen to 9, officials say. Two Metrorail trains collided during evening rush hour, in the worst-ever accident on the US capital's busy subway system.

REUTERS- Transit authorities in Washington, D.C., had been warned to upgrade older subway cars before a crash on Monday that killed nine people, U.S. investigators said on Tuesday.
 

Federal officials investigating the crash, the deadliest in the 33-year history of Washington's Metro Area Transit Authority, said a 2006 warning to retire or modernize older subway cars like those involved in the crash went unheeded.
 

"We recommended to WMATA to either retrofit those cars or phase them out of the fleet. They have not been able to do that and our recommendation was not addressed," National Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman Debbie Hersman said at a news conference at the scene of the accident.
 

Seventy-six people were taken to hospitals after one train slammed into another that was stopped on above-ground tracks during the afternoon rush hour, Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty said.

A Metro news release later said the figure rose to nine after more bodies were pulled from the wreckage.
 

The operator of the moving train was among those killed in the crash, which drove one train on top of the other. It remained there on Tuesday morning as workers attempted to clear the wreckage.

Metro said it could take weeks or even months before the cause of the crash was determined.
 

2004 ACCIDENT
 

The NTSB, a federal agency, had urged the Metro system to replace older subway cars or upgrade their crashworthiness following a 2004 accident that injured 20 passengers, federal records show.

Metro general manager John Catoe said changes to the rail cars would be made if needed.
 

"Any car that strikes another vehicle at a certain rate of speed and with a certain amount of weight, you're going to have some major damage," he said.

Metro spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said the car which struck the waiting train was among the oldest on the system and had been in service since Metro opened in 1976.
 

She added that about 290 of Metro's 1,126 cars were original, and that Metro officials were in the process of soliciting bids for replacements -- although cost was an issue.

"We don't have the money in place to replace them," she said. "We believe that they are safe to have on the rails."
 

The crash occurred on the heavily traveled Red Line about 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) on a relatively lengthy stretch of track near the city's northeastern border with Maryland, where trains can build up a considerable speed.

Both trains were heading south into the city. The leading train had stopped because it was waiting for another to leave the Fort Totten station, officials said.
 

It was unclear why the second train had not received the stop signal as well, or why the operator did not manually stop her train when she saw the blocked tracks ahead, officials said.

Passengers on the second train said it did not slow down at all before impact.

"There was no attempt at braking. We just slammed into whatever we slammed into," passenger Theroza Doshi told Reuters.
 

Washington's Metro system needs more than $7 billion to keep its fleet of trains and buses in good repair through 2020, Catoe told Congress in recent testimony.

It also needs to replace one-third of its rail cars, some of which are more than 30 years old.

The U.S. recession has caused the system to cut its operating budgets this fiscal year by 10 percent.

Last month, it had to tap reserves to help close a funding gap for fiscal year 2010 that at one point was projected to reach $154 million. Despite the problems, rating agency Standard & Poors in April raised the system's credit rating.

Date created : 2009-06-23

Comments

COMMENT(S)