The Examiner’s Kytja Weir notes the strangeness of a Metro board meeting about suicide prevention being interrupted by news that a man had just committed suicide at the Foggy Bottom station:
Metro staff whispered the news to each other, and some rushed out, during a presentation about suicide prevention. General Manager Richard Sarles interrupted the meeting to announce the agency had another case.
The suicide was the 61st case of riders intentionally hit by trains since 2005 and the fourth this year, according to Metro. Others have jumped from agency parking garages.
Metro hasn’t made use of a $70,000 report it received from a suicide prevention organization last year, and hasn’t begun training any of its staff, despite making a resolution to do so nearly three years ago after an especially deadly year.
Update: WMATA spokesperson Dan Stessel emails to clarify: “We actually have trained nearly 200 train operators to date, and the process is ongoing. You can see the timeline and additional details about the program in the Board presentation here.” Metro has a goal of training 960 station managers and train operators.