Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Expect WMATA delays: 'Person struck by train at U Street station'

May 3, 2012 - 02:41 PM
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(Photo: flickr/helgaslobsterstew)

A Metro train hit a female rider sometime after 2 p.m. this afternoon at the U Street Metro station.

WMATA's homepage is announcing the title line above in a big red banner with the promise of details to follow. I saw the announcement first on the homepage, followed shortly after by a 2:25 p.m. announcement on the @WMATA Twitter account that the Green and Yellow line trains are single-tracking between Georgia Avenue and Mount Vernon Square and bypassing U Street. Shuttle buses are apparently traveling to and from Columbia Heights this afternoon.

Metro confirms that the incident appears intentional — a suicide attempt — and that a rescue operation is underway at this time. More details to come.

Update, 2:50 p.m.: Rotimi Oyewole shares a photo of what the U Street Metro looks like from outside, with police cars and emergency cones blocking traffic.

Update, 3:07 p.m.: WMATA reported just before 3 p.m. that trains have begun servicing the U Street Metro station once more but continue to single track through the stretch and experience some delays.

Suicide attempts, unfortunately, have continued on our transit system over the last year and Metro has long been in the midst of a program to train its employees to recognize suicidal behavior and to post suicide hotlines in its 86 Metro stations. The program has encountered delays. These attempts happen across many different rail systems around the world, all of which struggle with the response in different ways.

Update, 3:45 p.m.: The Green and Yellow line delays appear to be clearing a bit. WMATA spokesperson Dan Stessel tells me that as of 3:29, the singe tracking stretch has been reduced to Georgia Ave-Petworth to U Street. If the afternoon wasn't already hectic enough, over at L'Enfant Metro, two juveniles released pepper spray.

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