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Train operator caused doors to open on wrong side on elevated Red Line tracks

The doors on a Red Line train opened on the wrong side on Wednesday, exposing passengers to the tracks on the elevated platform at Rhode Island Avenue station. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)

A train operator was removed from duty Wednesday after the train doors opened on the wrong side of the platform, exposing Red Line riders to the elevated tracks at Rhode Island Avenue, Metro said Thursday.

The doors opened due to operator error, Metro Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader said at a board meeting. After opening the doors on the wrong side of the train, Leader said, the operator failed to follow Metro protocol and walk up and down along the train to ensure that all the doors had closed and that no riders were injured.

The incident was caught on camera by aghast riders, who noted the steep drop-off to the ground below.

A Red Line rider captured video of the train doors opening on the wrong side of the platform to the elevated tracks at Rhode Island Avenue Metro station. (Video: Twitter @kelseyhami)

Metro board member Robert Lauby said the incident was cause for grave concern — and feared that it would further sour riders’ opinion on Metro service and safety standards.

“That’s another incident that every passenger on that train is going to remember,” Lauby said.

Jan. 2017: Metro passengers startled when doors open before train reaches platform