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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/12/2011

Man struck by Orange Line train in ‘serious condition’


Riders wait aboard one of the cars on the train that struck a 39-year-old McLean man at Clarendon Station Tuesday. (David Griffin - THE WASHINGTON POST)
Wednesday evening update: The man who was struck by a train Tuesday at Clarendon station is now listed in “critical condition” in the intensive-care unit of a local hospital, according to Metro’s chief spokesman Dan Stessel. Stessel did not know if the 39-year-old had undergone surgery. Metro has not released the man’s name or the name of the hospital where he is being treated.

Wednesday Update:

A man struck by a train at Clarendon Station Tuesday afternoon was expected to have surgery Wednesday morning at a local hospital.

Dan Stessel, Metro’s chief spokesman, said the man has been identified as a 39-year-old from McLean. He was listed in in “serious condition” in an intensive care unit, Stessel said.

The man “suffered head injuries and multiple broken bones,” Stessel said. He said the injuries are “considered potentially life threatening.”

Stessel said police have talked to the train operator and witnesses and determined that the man walked through a gate that leads to the tunnel. He went a “small distance into the tunnel,” Stessel said, as the train was entering Clarendon station, and “intentionally placed himself in the path of the train.” Stessel said the train stopped just short of the platform.

Passengers aboard the train had to remain for about an hour and 15 minutes, Stessel said. Metro police boarded to keep check on passengers.

It was “deemed to not be safe to evacuate those passengers while the fire department was performing the rescue,” Stessel said.

“The safest place for them to was on the train,” Stessel said. Passengers were patient and understanding, he added. “We greatly appreciated that and it helped in the emergency effort,” he said.

After the rescue the train was “able to advance into the station and off-load all passengers right to the platform.”

Single-tracking was done on the other side of the line for between 20 to 30 minutes before normal service resumed. Stessel said 40 shuttle buses were used to transport passengers but there were delays in getting the vehicles through the swarms of emergency vehicles, pedestrians and traffic during Arlington’s evening rush hour.

“The ability to get buses through becomes a bit challenging,” he said .

Some riders reported that their commute home took more than two hours and criticized Metro’s response to the situation as inadequate.

The Orange Line’s Clarendon station was closed and service suspended while crews conducted the rescue. At one point during the evening, Rosslyn station became so crowded that it was closed for safety’s sake and emergency crews responded to the scene. Some trains skipped stops for the same reason. Witnesses reported traffic chaos surrounding some stations as passengers streamed to the streets to make their way home.

Stessel said there’s “no way to replicate the capacity of the Orange Line,” which carries between 800 and 900 passengers every four minutes. “This is the busiest part of the line,” he said.

Original post: Metro trains are operating in both directions between Rosslyn and Ballston Metro stations after a man was struck by a train at Clarendon earlier Tuesday.

Rail service resumed along the stretch shortly after 6:30 p.m. but switched between serving both tracks and a single track for the next hour while emergency crews worked in the area.

Metro’s chief spokesman Dan Stessel said the man was still alive as of 7:24 p.m.

The Orange Line’s Clarendon station was closed and service suspended earlier while crews conducted the rescue. At one point during the evening, Rosslyn station became so crowded that it was closed for safety’s sake. Some trains skipped stops for the same reason.

Metro chief spokesman Dan Stessel warned that riders would experience “significant delays” in both directions. Blue Line riders were also affected by the delays. About 7:50 p.m. Metro reported that “normal service” had resumed at Clarendon station.

Stessel said that at one point the escalators at Rosslyn “apparently turned themselves off as designed due to the extreme crowding.” Technicians were dispatched to try to fix the situation, he said.. Stessel said he knew of no injuries beyond the man struck by the train at Clarendon.

The incident happened, Stessel said, as a Vienna-bound train was pulling in to the station. It appears the man jumped in front of the train, he said. The incident occurred around 4:50 p.m, and the man was removed about an hour later, according to Metro.

Michael Perkins, an engineer who is a contributor to the Greater Greater Washington blog, reported on Twitter that he was stuck aboard the train that reportedly struck the person.

Power to the third rail had been disconnected to allow emergency workers to access the tracks, and Perkins’s train was without power.

“Still stuck, still hot, wmata pd and arl co sheriff have visited - no evac yet,” he reported at 5:48 p.m.

Stessel said Metro Transit Police and emergency management personnel boarded the train and explained the situation to customers.

He said the passengers on the train were very understanding and “that’s greatly appreciated.”

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By  |  11:00 AM ET, 10/12/2011

Categories:  Metro | Tags:  WMATA, Metro, Metrorail, Orange Line

 
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