D.C. Metro Trains Collide During Evening Commute

Dozens injured after trains collide on city's red line.

ByABC News
June 22, 2009, 6:10 PM

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2009 -- At least six people were killed and scores injured during rush hour Monday evening when two Metro trains collided, causing cars from one to land atop the the other.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FBI are on the scene of what is being called the deadliest crash in the Metro's history, according to D.C. officials.

District of Columbia Fire Department spokesman Alan Etter said crews had to cut people out of the mangled train cars in what he described as a "mass casualty event." Rescue workers propped steel ladders up to the upper train cars to help survivors escape.

According to an update posted on the Metro Web site, there are at least "one hundred injuries, many serious, according to preliminary reports." One of the victims is a female Metro employee operating one of the trains.

Homeland Security Department spokeswoman Amy Kudwa told The Associated Press that federal authorities had no indication of any terrorism connection at this point in the investigation

A Metro train car was stalled, waiting for clearance into the Fort Totten station, when a second one plowed into it from behind, according to D.C. fire officials. The accident happened around 4:59 p.m. on the city's red line in northeast Washington between the Takoma Park and Fort Totten stations.

The female train operator who was killed, whose name has not yet been released, was driving the rear train.

A D.C. alert Monday evening said, "Metro reports that two trains collided and one train is on top of the other train." At 8:17 p.m., a National Transportation Safety Board spokesman said he did not know which train was on top -- the stalled train, or the trailing one.

D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier discouraged family members from coming to the collision scene to retrieve or inquire about loved ones, to avoid overwhelming emergency workers.

Lanier advised family members to call (202) 727-9099 for more information. However, calls by ABC News to that number were met with a busy signal. A secondary number issued by local district officials is (202) 737-4404.