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Fatal overnight construction accident on the Red Line between Union Station and Judiciary Square

Update from @wmata at 6:00pm:

“One of the two WMATA employees injured overnight has been released from hospital.”

From WMATA:

“The investigation into the cause of a fatal overnight construction accident on the Red Line is ongoing. The investigation team, led by Metro’s Chief Safety Officer, has authorized the release of the following facts and preliminary findings:

The incident occurred shortly after midnight, Sunday, October 6, 2013, in a work zone on the outbound (Glenmont direction) track between Union Station and Judiciary Square. The incident location is closer to Union Station, approximately 400 feet from the platform.

Contractors and WMATA employers were performing rail renewal, a process that involves removing old sections of rail, installing new sections of rail and related activity such as welding and grinding.

At approximately 12:03 a.m., there was a fire and loud noise that originated near heavy track equipment used to weld rail sections together into a continuous strip.

The fire and loud noise originated approximately 70 to 80 feet from the injured workers. The root cause of the fire/noise has not yet been determined. It is not yet known if there was a fluid leak or another mechanical issue. All contractor-owned and WMATA equipment at the site is being inspected at this time.

The fire was extinguished by workers using a handheld fire extinguisher.

The incident caused a 40-foot section of rail to move, striking three workers (two WMATA employees and a contractor). It is not yet known what caused the piece of rail to move.

The two WMATA employees — one track worker and one supervisor — suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries from being struck by the piece of rail. They were transported to local hospitals.

The contractor, an employee of Holland Co., was fatally injured as a result of being struck by the piece of rail. Holland Co. provides welding services for transit systems and railroads. The contractor has been identified as Harold Ingram, age 41, of New Jersey.

The NTSB and Tri-State Oversight Committee were notified of the incident.

Following the incident, all Red Line track work was suspended, and a safety “stand down” was ordered to brief Red Line crews on the incident, offer counseling services, and reinstruct employees on safety procedures.

Free shuttle buses will continue to operate between Dupont Circle and NoMa-Gallaudet stations until system closing tonight. Normal rail service will be restored Monday morning.”

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