NTSB Update Offers as Much Frustration as Information

Officials want to know why the false signal occurred

WASHINGTON -- The day after the National Transportation Safety Board released new information about the multiple fatal June 22 Metro crash, local officials unleashed new frustrations with the investigation.

The NTSB addressed what failed Tuesday in their letters to Metro, the manufacturer of the failed equipment, the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration. But it failed to answer "why?"

Complaints about the automated track system are common, according to leaders of the transit workers union. The NTSB findings just further expose a failing transit system.

"We hear stories on a daily basis about communications and automatic train control problems," said Jackie Jeter, president of the local union.

The union also called for accountability.

"No one in the ranks of management has been held responsible for these failures," Jeter said.

D.C. Councilman Jim Graham, a member of the Metro Board, vented frustration Wednesday about the wording of the letters. He wonders why, three months after the crash, Metro is learning more about what went wrong but not more about why it went wrong.

"We need to know how it happened in order to prevent it from happening again," he said.

An investigation of this magnitude can take between 12 and 18 months to complete, an NTSB representative told NBC4.

Graham expects Metrorail to operate in manual mode until the NTSB figures out what caused the sensor failures.

Contact Us