Call Log for Deadly Metro Incident Suggests Delays

by Andrea Swalec January 15, 2015 at 10:00 am 0

Smoke in L'Enfant Plaza station (Twitter/LesleyJLopez)(Updated at 10:25 a.m.) A preliminary report on emergency calls and dispatch times for the Metro incident that killed a woman on Monday suggests confusion and delays.

The city released this morning the first minute-by-minute account of the information Metro and D.C. Fire and EMS had while commuters were trapped. Heavy smoke in the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station was first reported at 3:22 p.m., the call log distributed by the Office of the City Administrator shows. Firefighters arrived nine minutes later, at 3:31 p.m.

The call log does not list when firefighters reached people trapped on the smoke-filled train, but it shows that a passenger asked in an emergency call at 3:45 p.m. if help was on the way. That’s 23 minutes after the initial call about smoke.

The Washington Post reported before the document was released that passengers waited at least 35 minutes in the dark tunnel before firefighters began to rescue them. Firefighters waited 13 minutes to move into the tunnel because they needed to know from Metro that power to the electrified third rail had been cut.

Alexandria resident Carol Glover died after being trapped in the smoke, and 83 other passengers were hospitalized.

Here’s the full call log:

3:14 Metro Rail’s Unit 22 called to report a debris fire on the tracks at Gallery Place
Station, upper and lower levels
3:19 Engine 02 Unit Dispatched to 7th St NW/H St NW (Gallery Place Metro)
3:18 A caller from a construction site reported smoke coming out of the Metro tunnel at 9th and Water St SW
3:22 Metro Rail’s Unit 22 called to advise of heavy smoke at L’Enfant Plaza Metro upper level
3:22 Engine 02 Arrived at 7th St NW/H St NW (Gallery Place Metro)
3:24 Metro Transit Official called requesting medics and fire units at L’Enfant Plaza Station for smoke in the station and reported citizens in the station could barely breathe
3:25 FEMS units arrived at 9th St SW/Water St SW scene where there was an odor of smoke but no flames were seen
3:27 A caller at the entrance of L’Enfant station requested an ambulance
3:28 Metro box alarm was dispatched to 7th & D St SW; EMA is notified
3:31 Rescue 1 arrives (1st unit) at 7th and D St SW L’Enfant Station; MPD is dispatched:32 MPD unit 1D 1011 arrives
3:32 A caller at the entrance of L’Enfant station requested an ambulance
3:33 A caller on the yellow line, in the tunnel stated the train was filled with smoke
3:33 A caller said he was “at or on” the Pentagon train and was transferred to Arlington
911 Center. The OUC call taker remained on the line and updated CAD which reflected this call
3:35 Engine 02 Unit cleared Gallery Place Metro and dispatched to L’Enfant Plaza
3:39 A caller on the train advised that it was filling with smoke.
3:42 A caller from a street location of 7th and E Street SW reported his wife was having difficulty breathing after she exited L’Enfant Station
3:42 Repeat caller from 3:33 – made inquiry “if help is on the way” the caller provided the train number 3031. He was transferred to the Metro Transit Official who told him not to leave the train because the tracks were still live
3:43 A caller advised he was stuck on the train and it was filling with smoke
3:44 BFC advises that WMATA confirms that power is shut down; there is a train with people trapped
3:45 A male caller asked “if help is on the way because the train is filling with smoke”
3:45 A female caller asking if help is on the way because the train is filling with smoke
3:46 A second alarm dispatched
4:09 Battalion Chief 1 advises he is at Operations Command Center and there is a report of a patient having a seizure on the train; squad 1 advises 9th and D; and an adult female is undergoing CPR, requesting a medic
4:12 Medic 14 advises he is a block away from L’enfant plaza and will respond; Medic 6B responds that he is closer, medic 14 cancels the run
4:17 Medic 6B is given the corrected location on channel 0A12, 9th and D St SW
4:19 Command 2 directs all medical units on L’enfant Plaza to switch to 0A5 (tactical channel due to radio traffic)
4:25 Medic 27 transports patient to GW, CPR is still in progress

Area lawyers predict that Metro will be sued for millions of dollars after the tragedy, WJLA 7 reported. The lawyer who represented families after the 2009 Red Line crash will announce the first lawsuit at 11:30 a.m. today, according to WAMU.


Subscribe to our mailing list