Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

L'Enfant Metro escalator pileup video making the rounds

March 1, 2011 - 03:13 PM
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This past weekend Metro customers got their first glimpse of the surveillance video that captured a massive rider pileup at the base of a L'Enfant Plaza escalator during the Rally to Restore Sanity. The incident injured four people, one critically.

Like almost any cynical reporter, I assumed Metro officials had released the video over the weekend in a classic news dump, the better to minimize PR damage. But in fact, that's not what went down.

NBC 4 had aired the video as an exclusive on Friday night; Metro had forked it over earlier in the day in response to a freedom-of-information request presumably submitted months ago. Other news outlets, including TBD and ABC7, followed up and gave the video some play on Saturday, and the story was dead in D.C. by Monday.

But as we all know, bloggers have a way of sniffing out titillating video, even when it's been buried in a weekend television newscast, and the internet puts no shelf life on a great clip. So none of us should be surprised to see that Metro's human-pileup video landed today on Gawker, which dubbed it an "escalator massacre."

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