Metro board reviewing derailment report

WASHINGTON — The Metro Board of Directors has received an investigative report looking into the derailment outside the Smithsonian Station, and members plan to discuss the findings during a meeting next week.

An empty Metro train derailed outside the downtown station Aug. 6, unleashing service suspensions and massive delays for riders. Metro officials later announced the derailment was caused by a track problem that had been discovered a month earlier, but never repaired.

“What we’ve seen in the most recent incident on the Metro system was an example of gross negligence,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland. “It’s just by chance that nobody was injured or killed.”

According to a statement from Metro, the report was handed over to the board Monday. It will be made public in the coming days and will be discussed during a Sept. 3 board meeting.

The Metro board demanded the investigation and called the incident “an unforgivable breach of safety.”

“Metro has got to act with urgency,” said Van Hollen, calling for the Metro system to quickly hire a new leader.

“Right now it’s a headless operation, they have no general manager,” he said.

Former General Manager Richard Sarles announced 11 months ago that he would retire, and he left the agency in January. Since then, Jack Requa has been the interim general manager.

Metro officials have said they plan to make a final decision on a new general manager this fall.

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