Posted on 15/02/2015 in News 32 2015
N-49-03 Washington metro smoke death

Washington metro smoke death

One person died and over 80 were hospitalised when a Washington Metro train stopped and filled with smoke on 11th January. Authorities indicate that the smoke was caused by electrical arcing from the third rail (which supplies high-voltage power to the trains) around 300m ahead of the train. The train was unable to return to the nearest station and away from the smoke, possibly because of the power failure.

No fire started, and the death and injuries were all caused by the dense, black smoke. The Washington Metrorail system, which dates from the 1970s and still uses some original rolling stock, had over 80 cases of smoke and fire per year in 2013 and 2014. In most cases the fires and smoke release were contained, which shows the effectiveness of fire safety treatment of materials. However, this tragic incident indicates the need to further reduce smoke generation and its dangers. 

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