Emails: Leaking water possible cause of deadly Metro smoke

WASHINGTON – Emails among District officials suggest a possible cause of the smoke that killed a Metro passenger and sent dozens of people to the hospital for smoke inhalation in January.

Emails obtained by the NBC4 I-Team shed light on the response to the incident by top District officials including the mayor. One of the emails contains an internal report from the District’s homeland security agency blaming leaking water as a possible cause of the smoke.

That report was dated 10 p.m. Jan. 12 – hours after the smoke was first reported, according to NBC4.

“The investigation has determined that water leaking on electrical equipment led to the heavy smoke conditions,” the report says.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the deadly smoke and no cause has been officially identified. The NTSB has scheduled June hearings into the smoke incident and response.

The acrid, yellow electrical smoke filled a Yellow Line train as it left L’Enfant Plaza that day. The train headed into the thick cloud as exhaust fans sucked the smoke toward the train, instead of away from the passengers. One of those passengers, Carol Glover of Alexandria, died from smoke inhalation.

Among the dozens of people taken to several local hospitals were at least 15 Metro employees including transit police officers and a train operator, NBC4 reports.

The electrical malfunction sparked numerous reviews and investigations and Metro has already announced a number of changes to address problems identified in the wake of the deadly incident.

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