its investigation of the smoke and electrical arcing accident in a tunnel near
the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station on January 12 continues, the National
Transportation Safety Board is looking at another smoke and electrical arcing
event that occurred in February.
On February 11, 2015, at approximately 1:39 p.m. ET, the operator of a
Washington Metro Area Transit Authority Orange Line train, traveling from Court
House Station to Rosslyn Station, reported smoke in the tunnel as it approached
Rosslyn. The train operator was instructed to reverse ends and move the train
back to Court House Station, which did occur. All smoke was cleared by 2:50
p.m. and normal train service was resumed. There were no injuries as a result
of the incident.
On the day of the incident, the NTSB responded to the location. Upon arrival at
4:10 p.m., investigators noted no remaining smoke and that normal service had
resumed in the WMATA Court House Station.
On February 11, the NTSB requested that WMATA deliver the electrical components
from the Court House incident to the NTSB materials laboratory for examination.
These components were received on February 19.
NTSB investigators accompanied WMATA personnel on site visits to the location
of the Court House incident where additional electrical components were
identified for further examination. Investigators requested that those
components be sent to the NTSB.
Upon delivery of the requested components, the NTSB will examine the evidence
in an attempt to determine the failure mode, and see if there are similarities
with the January 12, L’Enfant Plaza Station accident.
Ongoing work by the NTSB on the L’Enfant Plaza accident investigation includes
a detailed timeline of the emergency response efforts of the DC Fire and
Emergency Medical Services Department, the DC Office of Unified Communications,
the complexities of the radio systems with a focus on interoperability between
WMATA and first responders.
control operator training programs to assess preparedness to respond in
the train ventilation systems and reviewing associated procedures.
Additional investigative updates will be provided as circumstances
As previously announced, the NTSB will hold a fact-finding hearing in
Washington on June 23-24 to further explore the range of issues involved in
this investigation. Information on the hearing and other related resources are
available at http://go.usa.gov/3jUZA.