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Metro, NTSB Mum on Derailment Details
posted 6:00 pm Thu February 18, 2010 - WASHINGTON
from ABC 7 News


7 is On Your Side with new information about your safety on Metro. It comes out of the investigation into last week's train derailment that trapped Red Line riders underground.

Metro board members pressed General Manager John Catoe for information about the crash at a board meeting Thursday. Catoe said he couldn't talk about it since the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

He indicated Metro's trying to prevent another derailment.

"What we know, we have taken action on," Catoe said.

When asked why the NTSB would investigate a relatively minor derailment, a spokesman said if the agency sees a pattern of problems within an agency, they're going to look into it.

Former NTSB Chairman Jim Hall told ABC 7 News he's not at all surprised the board's investigating, considering Metro's "past response to board recommendations."

Before he was briefed, new Metro Board Chairman Peter Benjamin said the system is safe.

"I personally think that Metro is safe, otherwise I wouldn't take my grandchildren on it," Benjamin said.

Carl Pigford wants all the details but will keep riding even without them.

"Taking Metrorail or Metrobus is technically safer than driving a car every day," he said. "I mean, it's something that I will question but it's not something that will make me 'Ohh, I'm not riding the Metro ever again.'"

The NTSB has four open investigation of Metro incidents.

Hearings are scheduled to begin next week into Metro's deadliest crash, the June 22 collision of two Red Line trains that killed eight passengers and a train operator.  The NTSB is also investigating the Nov. 29 incident at Metrorail's West Falls Church Rail Yard, in which three employees suffered minor injuries, and the Jan. 26 deaths of Automatic Train Control technicians Jeff Garrard and Sung Oh near the Rockville Metrorail station.


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