Now that all of the witnesses have
testified, this hearing regarding the NTSB investigation into the January 12
accident, involving heavy smoke in a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
tunnel, is concluded. The record will
remain open for additional materials that were requested during the hearing.
On behalf of my fellow Board members and
the NTSB staff, I thank each of the witnesses for their testimony, and the
parties for their cooperation, not only at this hearing but throughout the
I also thank the numerous NTSB staff
members who worked hard to support this hearing. In the past two days we have
added greater clarity to the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident.
The transcript will be made available to
the parties and witnesses electronically within 7 days of completion of the
hearing. Witnesses or parties should send any corrections to the transcript to
the Hearing Officer, Dr. Poland, within 30 days – by July 24, 2015. Participants
should send any documents or information that they agreed to furnish during the
hearing to the Hearing Officer within 30 days – by July 24, 2015.
The archive of the hearing webcast will
remain on the NTSB website for several months after the hearing.
The transcript of the hearing and all of
the materials entered into the record will become part of the public docket,
along with other records of the investigation, including the additional
exhibits that Dr. Poland has enumerated over the last two days.
This hearing has been a very helpful
step in our ongoing investigation, allowing us to gain more extensive insight
into the infrastructure, planning, culture, and climate that existed at the
time of this accident and to help us understand decisions, procedures, and
Far too often we see a tragedy that was preceded
by opportunities missed and warning signs ignored. By learning how to identify those precursors
and perhaps by educating others with what we find in our investigations, hopefully
we can break the chain of events to help prevent future accidents.
It is our hope that this hearing and our
subsequent final report will yield recommendations which, if acted upon, will
improve safety -- not only for WMATA, but also throughout the passenger rail
and rail transit community, which is responsible for moving millions of people
every day safely and efficiently.
We stand adjourned.