June 22, 2010

Hersman marks anniversary of WMATA crash

Meeting Monday to consider the final report on the motorcoach accident in Arizona, the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman delivered the following remarks:

"I would like to first take a moment to recognize that one year ago today, on June 22, 2009, two WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) trains collided near the Fort Totten station outside Washington, D.C., killing nine and injuring over 50. Today there are several memorial services planned and here at the Safety Board, we are ever mindful of the loss of life that occurred that day and the hardship endured by so many in the past 12 months.

"On behalf of my fellow Board members and our staff, I offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims of that tragic accident, as well as to the scores injured, and to everyone affected by the tragedy.

"Over the past year, the Safety Board has been taking an unprecedented look, from top-to-bottom, to determine exactly why that fatal accident on the Red Line happened. In the weeks and months that followed the accident, the Safety Board issued two rounds of urgent safety recommendations, and this past February, we held a 3-day public hearing. Next month, on July 27, our investigation culminates, when the Safety Board considers the accident's final investigation report.

"I assure you that the Safety Board is committed to producing a quality and comprehensive accident report so that a rail accident like this one — whether in Washington or on any other transit property in the country — is never repeated."

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