Washington DC Metro Accident

Event Year: 2009 Reliability: Confirmed
Country: United States
Industry Type: Transportation

A computerized system failed to stop an oncoming train that was operating in automatic mode.  The emergency brake was pressed and the train did not stop.  The two metro trains crashed. The train was never supposed to get closer than 1,200 feet.  Federal officials had sought to phase out the aging fleet of trains because of safety concerns, but the transit system kept the old trains running, saying it lacked the money for new cars. The National Transportation board warned that the old fleet should be replaced or retrofitted to make it better able to survive a crash.  Niether was done.


The train wreck left 9 dead and 80 injured.

Action Description: Investigation continues as to the exact cause of the control system failure.