COMMUTE

Green Line power outage: Sarles discusses findings

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It was the commute home thousands will not forget. The chaos two weeks ago on Jan. 30 on the Green line was mainly blamed on miscommunication.

After an electrical malfunction, power was shut off. And no one at the control center knew why. A throng of irate riders was forced to self-evacuate from two stranded trains near the Navy Yard-Ballpark and Ancostia stations.

On Thursday, it was the chance for Metro's General Manager Richard Sarles and other leaders to tell the board what went wrong when two trains lost power underground.

"Some of our employees did an outstanding job here,” says Sarles. “Others did a job, but it was not as outstanding."

But so far, no one involved in the incident is facing disciplinary action.
The second problem started when people, because of the wait and heat, got off the stranded train in the middle of the tunnel.

"The operator there was busy evacuating there and did not make the announcement on the train to announce what was going on,” says Sarles. "Had that occurred, it may have alleviated the situation somewhat."

Despite warnings from the operator, people on the second train also got off.

And with passengers in the tunnel, Metro had no choice but to shut down service until it could account for everyone.

"We have to do a lot more training, a lot more drills across departmental lines so everyone works together better in a situation like this,” says Sarles.

If anything good came out of the incident, officials say it was that no one was injured or killed.

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