Federal officials to conduct safety inspection of Metro

Image 1 of 3

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal authorities say they will conduct a safety inspection of Washington's subway system following a fatal accident last month.

The investigation by the Federal Transit Administration is intended to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Metro transit network and identify areas where it can improve safety.

The FTA gained the authority to conduct such inspections under a law signed by President Barack Obama in 2012. It has previously inspected the Chicago Transit Authority. The Metro inspection will begin March 2.

One passenger was killed and more than 80 others were sent to hospitals with smoke inhalation when smoke filled a train inside a tunnel near a busy downtown station last month.

Metro's board chairman, Tom Downs, says in a statement that Metro welcomes the inspection.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.