Congress to hold hearing on Metro rail shutdown

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The latest breakdown of Washington's subway system has attracted the attention of Congress.

Two subcommittees that oversee the District of Columbia will hold a hearing next week on the recent decision to shut down the entire system for a day for emergency repairs.

Metro's general manager and board chairman are slated to testify at Wednesday's hearing, along with two federal transportation officials.

General manager Paul Wiedefeld said he decided to shut down the system for an entire day last month because he couldn't guarantee that it was safe to run trains. The shutdown allowed for inspections of third-rail power cables. Inspectors found 27 places that needed immediate repairs.

A problem with the third-rail power cables caused a train to fill with smoke last January, killing a passenger.