In mid-January, an incident at DC’s L’Enfant Plaza Metro station led to one woman’s death and injuries for over 80 other people. According to the local news, smoke filled the station and two trains after what the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported as a severe electrical problem.
A key concern that emerged after the accident involved the delay in response time to the people trapped in one of the smoke-filled trains, which was deeper in a tunnel and not already at the station. Some passengers were stuck for over an hour in that train (and the one woman who passed away was initially found unconscious there).
Emergency responders reportedly had trouble opening some of the doors to let people out quickly. Officials belonging to different agencies have also given conflicting accounts about why radio communications proved problematic during the emergency, slowing down response times.
Asking difficult questions
After an incident like this, it’s important to look at all of the factors that might have contributed to preventable death and injury.
For example, what led to the electrical problem that filled the station with smoke? Was it a problem that previous inspections and maintenance missed?
Furthermore, what contributed to the slower response times and relatively poor communication among emergency personnel?
The answers aren’t always easy to determine. In addition to awaiting findings from government agencies, you could benefit from consulting with a DC accident attorney.
Sometimes after an accident like this one, there are grounds for a civil suit. But regardless of whether or not you choose to pursue civil litigation, you might need help dealing with the costs in the aftermath. Depending on the accident, you might have steep hospital bills for anything ranging from a broken bone to smoke inhalation. Don’t hesitate to contact us to further discuss your options after an accident.
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