An Alexandria man was killed yesterday morning when he was struck by a Metro train as it entered the Farragut North station en route to Silver Spring.

D.C. police said the death of Arthur B. Janovski, 31, of 118 Roberts Lane, was an apparent suicide. The incident forced closing of the station for about 2 1/2 hours at the height of rush hour and seriously disrupted traffic on the Red Line.

Police said Janovski, orginally from Brooklyn, was unmarried and unemployed and had been a patient in mental institutions during the last several years. He was seen pacing along the subway platform shortly before the train entered the station at 7:40. As the train emerged from the tunnel, witnesses told police, Janovski threw himself in front of it and was pulled under the wheels.

Metro spokesman Cody Pfanstiehl said the station was closed immediately. It was reopened at 10:07. Trains traveling in either direction were routed over the single unaffected track, and did not stop at the station.

A friend described Janovski as an amateur actor who had been a regular performer with the Georgetown Law School Gilbert and Sullivan Society, though he was not a student there.

"Nobody had seen him and nobody knew why he wasn't in the show this year," the friend said. "Nobody knew what was wrong." photo: Body of a man witnesses said jumped in front of a train is loaded into a hearse at Farragut North Metro Station. By Larry Morris -- The Washington Post