One man died this past Wednesday in the wake of his dog leash becoming caught in the door of a train on the D.C. Metro which ended up dragging him rapidly down the platform of a Northern Virginia station, as reported by police officials.
As the law enforcement arm of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the Metro Transit Police Department spoke out about the horrible incident which took place just shortly prior to 1:30 p.m. at the Dunn Loring Station located out in Fairfax County, Virginia, roughly 12 miles to the west of Washington, D.C. proper.
A Metro rider died today after the dog leash he was carrying got stuck in a closed train door and he was dragged down the platform at the Dunn Loring station. The dog on the other side was inside the train and was unharmed. Our live report with @bforte22 #wmata @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/nnFLu4ZVeP
— Adam Tuss (@AdamTuss) February 15, 2023
“The deceased cleared the train and was on the platform away from [the] car, but upon closer review, a leash appears to be tied to the person, which was unfortunately caught in the door, leaving a dog with no ID inside of the car,” explained police in a released statement about the incident.
“This obstruction caused the individual to be dragged on the platform and onto the tracks,” the statement went on.
— Metro Transit Police (@MetroTransitPD) February 15, 2023
An in-depth investigation is already underway which includes a thorough look through the video of the incident.
Police officials have stated that the incident took place roughly 450 feet away from the operator’s cab, and that the operator of the train did perform two “safety checks” prior to moving the train.
Police have stated that the man was quickly rushed to the hospital but did end up succumbing to his wounds. The man’s dog, which does not seem to be a service animal, is still in police custody, expressed the statement.
“Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of the deceased,” reported Metro Transit Police.
Dogs that are not service animals are not allowed to ride on Metrorail and Metrobus while “unconfined,” explained WMATA. “However, a pet may be transported on Metrorail and Metrobus, provided it is carried aboard in a secure container from which it cannot escape,” the WMATA website continued.
One transportation reporter for NBC Washington, Adam Truss, stated that the train operator should have gotten a fast notification if something was stuck in one of the doors. “So that is certainly troubling,” he went on to add during a live news report from the scene.
This deadly incident takes place as Metro starts to think about bringing back its fully automated trains, as early as later this year.
While the system was constructed with automation in mind, the Metro’s train operators have manually stopped trains ever since a crash back in 2009 which resulted in the deaths of nine people and the injuries of a dozen more.