Obama administration investigating Metro safety

Smoke fills a Washington Metro system subway car near the L'Enfant Plaza station in Washington, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015. An electrical malfunction that filled the busy subway station with smoke killed one woman and sent dozens of people to hospitals. (AP Photo/Andrew Litwin)

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is set to launch a safety investigation of WMATA following a deadly incident at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station.

One person died and dozens were sent to hospitals when smoke filled the station and a train on January 12.

“We are taking this situation very seriously,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Friday in an interview with WTOP.

The U.S. Department of Transportation will begin the safety review on March 2.

It will be conducted by the department’s Federal Transit Administration, and it will focus on rail and bus operations, maintenance and employee safety training, among other things.

“We don’t run the transit agencies in this country, but we do have a very strong interest in ensuring that they’re safe,” Foxx said.

After the investigation is complete, federal transit inspectors plan to make recommendations for safety improvements across the Metro system.

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