Officials investigating why Metro train that struck truck was on closed track

January 28, 2003|By Stephen Kiehl | Stephen Kiehl,SUN STAFF

Investigators were trying to determine yesterday why a Metro subway train was traveling on a closed track Sunday morning, leading to a collision with a maintenance truck that injured 11 people.

Maryland Transit Administration officials said the truck was authorized to be doing repair work on the track near the State Center station downtown. They did not know why the subway train was running on that track when it was supposed to be using a parallel track that was not being repaired.

MTA spokeswoman Suzanne Bond said she expects to be able to report on the cause of the crash by tomorrow. "The goal of our investigation is to determine why and how a Metro subway train was traveling through an area where there was scheduled maintenance work," she said.

The MTA convened a panel of top officials yesterday from its safety and operations departments, as well as control room managers, to look into the crash, which injured nine people on the train and two people on the maintenance truck.

"It appears that it's human error," said Deoleous Bridges, head of the local transit union, but he said it remains unclear who was at fault.

"I assure you that we are doing everything we can and moving aggressively to do a thorough investigation," said MTA Administrator Robert Smith.

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