According to the Washington Post, Washington DC Metro authorities fired the train operator involved in a train yard crash that took place earlier this month. In the crash, three Metro employees were injured (including the man who was fired) and an estimated $9 million of damage was done to the train cars and tracks.
Metro officials said that the operator was speeding at the time of the Metro accident, which occurred when one moving train slammed into a parked train. The train was going an estimated 18 miles per hour instead of the limit of 15 MPH. When trains approach parked trains, they are supposed to slow to 2 to 3 miles per hour. While Metro officials could not officially comment or give details regarding a train accident that is still under federal investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, they did say that the driver did not follow standard operating procedures and that the rule-breaking led to the train accident.
The train conductor has been tested for drugs and alcohol, though the results have not been released. The employee had been at his post for almost 11 hours at the time of the accident. He had a two-year history with the organization and had been a train operator for a year at the time of the accident.
The public transportation accident in Virginia recalled this summer’s very serious Metro accident in the summer of 2009 that left dozens seriously injured and nine dead. That DC Metro accident is also under investigation. Three other Metro accidents have also taken place in 2009, leading some to question the safety measures being taken. The government is even considering federal oversight when it comes to public transit safety in big cities, much like it oversees interstates.