WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today released the following statement on Monday’s fatal Metro incident, the latest safety failure of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
“I was deeply saddened to hear the news of Monday’s electrical systems malfunction on the Yellow Line that killed one passenger and hospitalized more than 80 others. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected by the tragedy. A daily commute or tourist visit to our Nation’s Capital should always be a safe experience.
“I am pleased with the prompt reaction of the National Transportation Safety Board to launch an investigation into this incident. While I appreciate the statements of concern and reflection from Metro’s leadership, this is unfortunately not the first time in recent years that we’ve heard similar rhetoric of understanding the significance of grave events affecting the system. I will do what I can to hold them to their promises of reforming the safety culture at WMATA. I am a strong supporter of Metro. Its safety and reliability are of utmost concern to me, which is why we need real answers as to what occurred; why passengers were held for such a seemingly long period of time on a dangerous, smoke-filled train; and whether the threat of similar incidents exists today. As passengers continue to put their faith in WMATA and ride Metro around the National Capital Region, we must give them reason to be confident that adequate resources are being dedicated to understanding what went wrong and how to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
“Each day, Marylanders and those across the region — commuters, residents, tourists, students and business people — rely on the WMATA system. The federal government and its employees also depend on Metro daily and during times of crisis. This tragic incident underscores the continuing need to prioritize a culture of safety at Metro and the importance of making substantial investments in our transportation infrastructure before such accidents occur.”