Metro releases preliminary findings of investigation into overnight construction accident in Red Line work zone
News release issued at 3:27 pm, October 6, 2013. The investigation into the cause of a fatal overnight construction accident on the Red Line in Washington, D.C. is ....B.... . The investigation team, led by Metro's Chief Safety Officer, has authorized the release of the following facts and preliminary findings:
The incident occurred shortly after midnight, Sunday, October 6, 2013, in a work zone on the outbound (Glenmont direction) track between Union Station and Judiciary Square.
Contractors and WMATA employees were performing rail renewal, a process that involves removing old sections of rail, installing new sections of rail and related activity such as welding and grinding.
At approximately 12:03 a.m., there was a fire and loud noise that originated near heavy track equipment used to weld rail sections together into a continuous strip.
The fire and loud noise originated approximately 70 to 80 feet from the injured workers. The root cause of the fire/noise has not yet been determined. It is not yet known if there was a fluid leak or another mechanical issue.
The fire was extinguished by workers using a handheld fire extinguisher.
The incident caused a 40-foot section of rail to move, striking three workers (two WMATA employees and a contractor). It is not yet known what caused the piece of rail to move.
The two WMATA employees - one track worker and one supervisor - suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries from being struck by the piece of rail. They were transported to local hospitals.
The contractor, an employee of Holland Co., was fatally injured as a result of being struck by the piece of rail.