WMATA Chairman Apologizes for L’Enfant Plaza Incident as Victim Is Identified

by Andrea Swalec January 13, 2015 at 3:55 pm 1 Comment

Smoke in L'Enfant Plaza station (Twitter/LesleyJLopez)(Updated at 5 p.m.) The person who died yesterday after being trapped in a smoky Metro train was identified this afternoon as officials issued apologies and addressed next steps.

Carol Glover died after being stuck on a Yellow Line train Monday afternoon, the Office of the D.C. Medical Examiner confirmed. Glover, 61, was an Alexandria resident, WMATA said. She worked for the federal government as a contract employee, WUSA 9 and NBC 4 reported. Her cause of death was not released.

As of 3:30 p.m., 21 people remained hospitalized after being trapped on the smoky train, WMATA said in an update. A total of 84 people were transported yesterday to Washington Hospital Center, George Washington University Hospital and Howard University Hospital.

WMATA deferred all questions about the investigation to the NTSB, whose initial findings faulted an electrical malfunction for the deadly smoke.

Earlier today, Metro board chair Tom Downs issued an apology to her family:

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and all Metro employees, I offer my deepest condolences to the family of the passenger who died yesterday following the incident on the Yellow Line. To those who were injured or frightened, and to the thousands who have been inconvenienced by this major service disruption, I offer a heartfelt apology. Please also know that Metro is working to restore full service as soon as possible.

“Metro is actively cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board investigation that is now underway. This will be a thorough process that often takes time, and we understand that passengers want answers quickly. Please know that once the cause of this incident is understood, we are prepared to take the actions needed to prevent this from happening again. The safety of each and every Metro rider and employee remains our absolute highest priority.”

Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen issued a statement about response time to the disaster.

“Initial reports in the media suggest a break-down in the communication with WMATA to let responders know the full extent of the crisis and whether safe passage could be guaranteed along the tracks,” he said.

“I expect to learn more and will work with our WMATA members and other city leaders to address the underlying causes of the events and any breakdowns in coordination with first responders.”

The death was the first fatality on Washington’s Metro system since the June 2009 crash that killed eight passengers and a train operator.


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