A person in a wheelchair was removed from the Metro track bed at Union Station Tuesday afternoon after apparently falling to the tracks, according to a transit authority spokesman.

The individual was not struck by a train, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said, but came off the platform behind a stopped train. Other passengers helped the man back onto the platform, he said.

The incident happened about 4:39 p.m. after the man disembarked from a Shady Grove-bound train.

Stessel said the man told police that he “tried to maneuver the wheelchair left and it went right and he ended up on the track bed.”.

Metro temporarily shut off power to the third rail, he said.

According to Stessel, the man was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The problems confronting the disabled on the Metro system were spotlighted in a recent Washington Post story.

Earlier this month, a man with epilepsy fell to the tracks at Friendship Heights and was struck by a train. Metro said an initial investigation indicates the man fell accidentally. Family members have said they believe 41-year-old Victor Robinson suffered a seizure.

In January 2010, nearby passengers helped rescue a disabled woman from the track bed at Union Station after her motorized wheelchair overturned. In December 2009 a blind Rockville man died after falling from the platform at Gallery Place and being struck by a train. In June 2009 a man in a wheelchair rolled off the platform at Southern Avenue Station. He was rescued by emergency workers and taken to the hospital with a head injury.

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