Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Person struck by Metro train at Clarendon, delays on Orange and Blue lines

October 11, 2011 - 05:27 PM
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The backup at the Rosslyn Metro station. (Photo: Andrew Beaujon)

WMATA has just announced that a person has been struck by a train at the Clarendon Metro station today just before 5:30 p.m.. WMATA chief spokesperson Dan Stessel has jumped onto Twitter to confirm the news and that single-tracking has begun. "Shuttle bus service requested btwn Rosslyn & Ballston," Stessel tweeted from the @WMATA account and added that riders should expect delays on the Orange and Blue lines.

Moments before the WMATA alert, my TBD colleague Andrew Beaujon sent me the message, "Rosslyn is a mess!" along with the above photo of an outrageously crowded Metro station.

Orange Line service has been suspended between Rosslyn and Ballston, WMATA has announced. The individual is currently alive and trapped beneath the first car of the train that struck, Stessel told me. Gender remains unconfirmed but Stessel tells me that the person appears to have intentionally moved in front of a Vienna-bound train a little before 5:30 p.m.

"In order to perform the rescue, emergency personnel need access to both tracks," Stessel told me. As a result, third-rail power has been taken down from the Clarendon Metro tracks.

A "parade of [west-bound] trains" is discharging passengers at Rosslyn currently, according to Stessel, and a nearby colleague in my office just heard a report that the Rosslyn Metro station looks like "the sea from Titanic" due to how many bodies are pouring onto the platforms. If you normally take the Blue Line into Virginia, Stessel encourages you to head to L'Enfant and take the Yellow Line across the river — there are no delays on the Yellow Line.

Stessel also alluded to the "significant coordination" required to get all the shuttle buses to help move riders from Rosslyn to Courthouse to Clarendon to Virginia Square Metro stations, especially given we're about to enter rush hour. Rush hour normally taps virtually all the available Metrobuses, and a situation of this scale will require a minimum of about 35 to 40 buses, Stessel imagined. "It does take time to muster that many buses," he said.

As of about 5:35 p.m., the first shuttle buses began arriving at the affected stations.

This post has been updated at 5:42 p.m. to integrate WMATA spokesperson Dan Stessel's remarks.

Update, October 12, 9:20 a.m.: WMATA announced late last night that the person struck by the Metro train was a 39-year-old man from McLean, Virginia. He suffered head injuries, multiple broken bones, and was in critical condition in ICU due to what are considered life-threatening issues as of last night. 

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