Constantly criticized, the metro network of Washington brutally removed more than half of its trains Monday morning, following a derailment that could have had dramatic consequences.
“We apologize for the longer waits than anticipated”tweeted Monday the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMAT), which made this radical decision under pressure from the US office in charge of transportation safety, the NTSB.
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The drink will be bitter for the hundreds of thousands of users of this underground network, the most frequented in the United States after New York, which serves the federal capital and its suburb that runs through the states of Virginia and Maryland.
A wagon derailed last week without leaving any injuries, but prompted the opening of an official investigation. This made it possible to identify a design flaw in the axles that could favor derailments.
Inspections identified at least 39 examples of this defect this year, although the train cars in question, manufactured by the Japanese company Kawasaki, are the most recent in the network.
The derailment “could have caused a catastrophic event ”, iJennifer Homendy, head of the NTSB, attended a news conference Monday.
At least 748 wagons had to stop temporarily, pending the result of new expert evaluations.
Criticized for its chronic delays and dysfunctions, the Washington Metro is often cited as a flagship example of underinvestment in America’s infrastructure sector.
He’s one of President Joe Biden’s workhorses, who has so far failed to get his massive infrastructure bill passed.
The Washington metro suffered a serious accident in January 2015, when a train was found engulfed in smoke in a tunnel in the heart of the capital. A woman died and more than 80 people were injured in this drama that ended up undermining the reputation of the network.
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