I just received a call literally seconds ago that a school bus was involved in a bad accident on I-270 Northbound near the Father Hurley Blvd exit, in the Germantown area. Apparently a Subaru Outback did not stop in time and slammed into the back of the bus, in the right lane, with at least half of the car being sandwiched under the rear bumper of the bus. Details are limited at this time as you can imagine so I don’t know if any children were aboard the bus or not, but whenever a school bus is involved in an auto accident of any kind, let alone one on an interstate, serious concern is valid.
We certainly hope there were no serious injuries and will bring you details as we find them, but do expect traffic to come to a hault on I-270, most likely in both directions (Northbound will probably be partially closed and Southbound will be full of rubber neckers). If you have any details, please post in the comments.
American Airlines Flight 331, a 737-800 originating from DC National Airport, overshot the runway on landing in Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica, with heavy rain. The plane broke into pieces and came to a stop on the beach, just short of the water. At the moment we are hearing 154 on board, no fatalities, 91 injuries, 3 reported serious. Survivors escaping the fuselage emerged into dark and rain, then had to walk down the beach to get to waiting buses. More from NPR, and discussion on Airliners.net.
That’s the question in the back of everyone’s minds here in the District after Monday’s tragic Metro accident. It’s not an easy question to ask and in the coming days, how John Catoe and WMATA answers it may well make or break the transit agency.
It will certainly redefine it, for good or ill.
One of the biggest issues I’m seeing so far is the continued lack of communication from WMATA. From the top down, Metro needs a serious reworking of how it communicates with the public, emergency personnel and with itself. Catoe’s shameful performance on WTOP yesterday morning is just one poor example; his response was a canned one, not addressing the reporter’s question but instead rambling into an answer I’d heard verbatim elsewhere. The response was so off the mark that WTOP had to interrupt him twice to try bringing him back to focus.
But more damning is the failure of Metro to let emergency responders know what the magnitude of the situation was in the first critical minutes after the collision. DCFD officials have been critical of how understated the accident was described; fortunately, rescuers realized the magnitude of the incident upon arrival and summoned additional help. But the question remains – what if the proper amount of help had arrived at the start? Would some of the victims be alive today?
A Metrobus crashed into an Alexandria apartment last night. No one was injured as the resident wasn’t home and the driver had just offloaded his passengers due to a door problem — just before the bus started rolling away — but both apartment and bus appear to have been totalled. WJLA has more, and here’s some video of the scene from Associated Press: