Metro GM: Electrified Third Rail Was Still Live When Three Passengers Were Evacuated July 5

Three Metro passengers were evacuated while the system's third rail was still live after a safety incident earlier this month

One Metro train operator has already been fired after a Red Line train overran a red signal July 5 and went onto the same track as an oncoming train.

Now, the transit agency has admitted that three passengers from that Red Line train were evacuated before the high-voltage third rail had been turned off. 

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld revealed the news in a memo to Metro staff. News4 obtained the memo Monday.

A Metro investigation has found that control center staff weren't properly communicating to transit police during the evacuation, according to Wiedefeld's memo. 

"As a result of the communication gaps, three passengers aboard the train were evacuated before the third rail was safely de-energized," Wiedefeld said in the letter.

No one was injured. 

He said the investigation found five more employees broke safety rules July 5. The supervisors, controllers and superintendents involved will all face disciplinary action, including suspensions and training courses, Wiedefeld said. One supervisor was demoted.

Metro fired the trian operator earlier this month.

Wiedefeld has called that incident a "near miss" and that showed a "blatant disregard for safety."

Contact Us