Metro derailment caused by equipment failure, human error

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Metro says the derailment of an empty train in downtown Washington earlier this month was caused by a combination of equipment failure and human error.

The transit agency issued a report on the derailment on Friday. It says the root cause of the derailment was the failure of fasteners that hold the rail in place.


Metro had announced previously that the problem was detected a month before the train derailed and nothing was done. Friday's report says a technician "erroneously deleted" information about the problem from a maintenance report, thinking it was a "routine anomaly."

That employee and his supervisor resigned after the derailment.

Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly of northern Virginia says the report "lays bare the grossly inadequate culture of safety and competence" at Metro.

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