Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

See Rosslyn Metro's sea of bodies after Clarendon suicide attempt (video)

October 12, 2011 - 02:37 PM
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Don't panic, everyone. (Photo: YouTube/JoeWebsterDC)

A person struck by a Metro train complicated D.C.'s Tuesday rush hour, as most of you likely know, and caused intense delays on the Orange and Blue Metro lines starting around 5:30 p.m. yesterday. A 39-year-old McLean man jumped in front of a train at the Clarendon station and lived, starting today in critical condition due to "life-threatening" injuries. WMATA spokesperson Dan Stessel has said the man's Metro jump appeared intentional.

As unfortunate as this incident was, the apparent suicide attempt caused massive delays that afflicted countless D.C. commuters as some northern Virginia stations closed and a few dozen shuttle buses were deployed to help move riders who were left without trains.

No station, perhaps, was as slammed as the Rosslyn Metro station, where all west-bound trains were discharging their passengers. I heard and saw astonishing photos of the sea of bodies that quickly filled the station — as I wrote yesterday, one person compared the scene to the seas from Titanic. One Metro rider captured the waves upon waves of commuters on video, and the sight is even more staggering than I had imagined or guessed from photos.

I saw chaos at Rosslyn after the recent earthquake due to a train offloading ... but this crush of humanity defies any other incident I've seen. The video pans across the whole span of the Metro floor, from the platform to the escalators, and every inch seems covered in people. Let's hope no one suffered from claustrophobia. What must these people have been thinking? What emotions are at play in such an overwhelming crowd? The vision of so many people in the subterranean darkness is alien and even unsettling. See the video, uploaded by 42-year-old Joe Webster, after the jump:

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