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Accident Report Detail

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Train Strikes Wayside Workers Near Eisenhower Avenue Station

Executive Summary

About 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 30, 2006, a northbound Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail Yellow Line subway train struck and fatally injured two Metrorail employees who were performing a routine walking inspection along an outdoor section of main track near the Eisenhower Avenue station in Alexandria, Virginia. The accident occurred as the northbound train was traveling along track normally used for southbound traffic.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the Eisenhower Avenue accident was the failure of the walking track inspectors to maintain an effective lookout for trains and the failure of the train operator to slow or stop the train until she could be certain that the workers ahead were aware of its approach and had moved to a safe area. Contributing to the accident were Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Metrorail right-of-way rules and procedures that did not provide adequate safeguards to protect wayside personnel from approaching trains, that did not ensure that train operators were aware of the wayside work being performed, and that did not adequately provide for reduced train speeds through work areas. Also contributing to the accident was the lack of an aggressive program of rule compliance testing and enforcement on the Metrorail system.

Accident Location: Alexandria , VA    
Accident Date: 11/30/2006
Accident ID: DCA07FR004

Date Adopted: 1/23/2008
NTSB Number: RAB-08-02
NTIS Number:  

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