Four dead, others severely injured in rush-hour collision on Washingtons Metro rail line

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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WASHINGTON - A rush-hour subway train plowed into the back of a stalled train in its path on Monday in the northern reaches of the U.S. capital, killing at least four people and injuring more than 100.
The female operator of the trailing train was among the four killed. The train in front of her was stopped on the tracks on one of the city's heavily travelled subway routes, apparently waiting for instructions to proceed.
Rescue crews used heavy equipment to cut into the wreckage, with the first car of one six-car train wedged underneath the other after rear-ending it at high speeds.
"What we do do know is that there are scores of people who have been injured. There are already four confirmed fatalities," Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty told a news conference at the scene.
"It is my present understanding that this would then be the deadliest accident in the history of our Metro train transit system."
Alan Etter, a spokesman for the Washington Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, said the incident at the D.C.-Maryland border is "developing into a mass casualty event."
In addition to the four dead, two more had life-threatening injuries and 12 had moderate injuries. Fifty were classified as being "walking wounded" by authorities.
There were unsubstantiated reports that some passengers were ejected from the trains at the point of impact.
The crash took place between the Fort Totten and Takoma stations on a Metro route known as the red line that shuttles tens of thousands of commuters every day from D.C.'s Maryland suburbs into the city.
There is a large stretch of occasionally curving track between the two stations, meaning trains often reach high speeds.
Several people were seen being taken by gurneys from the wreckage to nearby hospitals as dozens of ambulances transported people to nearby hospitals.
Some people remained trapped in the trains after the doors jammed on impact, and rescuers were working to free them and to look for bodies.
Some passengers said they'd received alerts about delays on the line due to work being performed on the track prior to the crash.
The last major commuter crash in the United States was in September, when 25 people were killed when the conductor of a train in Los Angeles was sending text messages on his mobile phone during working hours when he was driving the train.
The deadly collision Friday in Chatsworth, north of Los Angeles, also injured 134 people and was the worst train accident in the United States in some 15 years.

Organizations: Metro inc., Washington Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department

Geographic location: United States, Los Angeles, Fort Totten Maryland Chatsworth

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