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DC Metro Closes Major Portions Of Track After Derailment, Tells Riders To ‘Plan’

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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Commuters trying to get home to Virginia from Washington, D.C., Friday afternoon will face a brutal trip in the aftermath of a train derailment that forced Metro officials to shut down major stretches of track on the orange and silver lines.

Officials announced a full track shutdown on the orange line between the West Falls Church and Ballston stations and the silver line between the McLean and Ballston stations for the remainder of Friday.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said at the scene of the derailment outside the East Falls Church station to refrain from speculation, stressing it is unclear what may have caused the disaster, reports NBC4.

The East Falls Church station is closed while investigators determine what went wrong.

“We will not have service this evening, so people should plan around that,” Wiedefeld said Friday at a press briefing. “I’m not going to make any assumption on what caused this.”

Metro officials said the train derailment occurred as it was entering a track switch, sending the fourth and fifth cars careening off the track. The train, carrying 75 passengers, came to a stop just 120 feet from the platform at East Falls Church. Metro officials said emergency crews treated one person who sustained minor injuries during the derailment.

Wiedefeld said damage sustained to the train cars and the track will need to be repaired. A timeline for reopening the tracks is unclear.

“Clearly, give yourself more time coming home tonight,” Wiedefeld said. “It’s too early to determine what it was, but clearly, you know for decades, we have not been on top of the maitinence for this system.”

Bus shuttles are in place for commuters affected by the derailment.

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