— Metro (@wmata) March 15, 2016
(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) Metro will close its rail system to riders for a full 24 hours starting tonight at midnight. The transit agency announced the news at a press conference this afternoon.
More information from a Metro press release:
Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld, with support from the Authority’s Board of Directors, today announced the full closure of the Metrorail system on Wednesday, March 16, for emergency inspections of the system’s third-rail power cables following an early morning tunnel fire yesterday.
The inspections of approximately 600 “jumper cables” will occur along all tunnel segments on the Metrorail system. At the conclusion of the inspection process, there may be a need for additional rail service outages. Any further service impacts will be announced to the public as soon as they are known.
News of the shutdown also appeared to crash the WMATA website:
oh my god did the wmata site crash pic.twitter.com/SUgSjbAMVS
— Tim Regan (@MrTimRegan) March 15, 2016
The move comes just one day after an early morning cable fire caused massive delays on Metro’s Blue and Orange lines.