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WMATA reports that two of its workers were killed this morning after being struck by a piece of track equipment near the Rockville Metro station. The Red Line has been closed between Rockville and Shady Grove. WMATA writes:

“The Metro employees, both males, were struck by a prime mover, a diesel-powered piece of equipment that is used to move heavy equipment, according to the preliminary report from Metro Transit Police. The employees were working along an outbound section of track on the Red Line in the direction of Shady Grove when they were struck by the prime mover at about 1:45 a.m.”

WaPo, of course, is all over this story.

WaPo reports:

“Anthony Garland, chief safety officer for the union that represents most Metro employees, said there appeared to be a communication problem between the department in charge of the truck that was on the track and the Automated Train Control department, whose technicians were installing new train control equipment in the track bed.

The operator of the truck, known as a high rail vehicle, was maneuvering it backwards down the track when it hit the two workers, fatally injuring them, said Garland, of the Amalgamated Transit Workers Local 689. The workers were installing equipment on the tracks that helps trains communicate with one another and with headquarters.

‘We want to know why there wasn’t better communication out there,’ said Garland, who had been briefed on what happened.”

WTOP has more details on the accident and notes that the NTSB will be investigating the incident. The station also provides an timeline of recent Metro deaths; the last incident involved a woman who jumped in front of a train on Jan. 4.