Smoke kills one, injures dozens in Washington metro station; NFPA offers free access to standard on fire and life safety for passenger rail systems

Blog Post created by mikehazell Employee on Jan 13, 2015

Metro fire
Passengers react Monday afternoon as smoke fills a Metro train in a tunnel outside L’Enfant Plaza Metro station. Photo: Saleh Damiger, The Washington Post.

One woman died, and 84 people were taken to hospitals, after smoke filled the L'Enfant Plaza metro station in Washington, DC, on Monday afternoon. According to a report on CNN.com, the National Transportation and Safety Board says an electrical arcing event sparked the incident.

"There was an electrical arcing event involving the trackside power cables (the third rail)," said a statement from the NTSB's Peter Knudson.

A six-car Yellow line train was southbound from L'Enfant station when sparks were noticed about 1,100 feet in front of the train as the tunnel filed with smoke.



From NFPA Journal®, July/August 2010
Designing smoke control for a pair of new AeroTrain stations at Washington Dulles International Airport meant using different approaches to achieve the same end: allowing passengers to evacuate as quickly and as safely as possible.  

The new AeroTrain transit system is a critical part of the upgrades underway at Washington Dulles International Airport. The system, which began operation in February, connects current and future concourses via an underground tunnel system, and it was important to design the system in a way that provided not only swift and efficient movement of passengers, but also maximized the protection of passengers and first responders in the event of an emergency. Read the full article by Karl Decker.