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Metro disqualifies train operator involved in near miss

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Washington Post staff writer
Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Metro employee operating the train involved in a near miss with a team of independent safety inspectors on Dec. 10 has been disqualified from the job of train operator, a Metro spokeswoman said Friday.

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In addition, a Metro supervisor was suspended without pay for a week as a result of the incident, according to Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein.

Metro took the disciplinary actions following a close call that occurred when a train, apparently traveling at full speed, nearly hit a team of inspectors from the Tri-State Oversight Committee, which monitors safety at Metro. The inspectors had to scramble to avoid being struck, according to the committee. No one was injured.

"As it relates to the Dec. 10th 'near miss' with the TOC inspectors, the train operator was disqualified from being a train operator anymore and a supervisor was suspended without pay" a full business week, Farbstein said in an e-mail responding to a query from The WashingtonPost.

The near miss occurred close to Alexandria's Braddock Road Station as the team was making inspections for safety violations, only days after Metro had lifted a six-month ban on inspectors accessing live subway tracks.

The train operator may be eligible for another position.

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