President Barack Obama sent condolences on Monday evening to the victims in Washington, D.C., subway trains disaster.
Two trains collided during the Monday afternoon rush hour, killing at least 7 people and injuring 76, including at least two who were critically injured.
The crash occurred on the heavily traveled red line at 5p.m. EDT, between Fort Totten and Takoma stations on the northeastern outskirts of the city near the border with Maryland.
Michelle and I were saddened by the terrible accident in Northeast Washing, D.C., today, Obama said in a statement. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends affected by this tragedy.
Mayor Adrian Fenty called the crash the deadliest in the 33-year history of Washington’s Metro subway system.
Federal officials investigating the cause of the crash said a 2006 warning to upgrade or retire older, less protected cars had gone unheeded.
It was the first crash involving a passenger death since 1982, when three people were killed in a derailment. The Metro train system began service in 1976.
The leading train had stopped because it was waiting for another train to leave the Fort Totten station, officials said.
It was unclear why the following train had not received the signal to stop as well, or why the operator did not stop her train manually when she saw the tracks blocked ahead of her, officials said.
It just happened. There was no slowing down of the train, just a jerk, said passenger Theroza Doshi.
There was no attempt at braking. We just slammed into whatever we slammed into, Doshi said.