Metro subway smoke: union sues to reinstate fired mechanic

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A union that represents the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has filed a lawsuit to reinstate a mechanic fired last year over a deadly smoke incident inside a subway car.

Local news outlets report that the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 is suing the transit authority in a bid to reinstate mechanic Seyoum Haile.

Haile was fired a month after a Metro rider died in a smoke-filled train last year. Metro said it determined Haile failed to properly inspect a tunnel fan and falsified an inspection report.

The union argues that Metro used Haile as a scapegoat for what it calls "institutional failings" within the transit authority. It argues that Metro should have suspended Haile instead.

Metro is required to submit a response to the complaint within three weeks.

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