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WUSA is reporting that nine people have died from this evening’s Metro crash:
“9NEWS NOW has confirmed there are nine dead from the collision, and officials say there are 67 people injured. The Fire Department Chief said that up to six of those people sustained life-threatening injuries, another 14 have less threatening injuries and more than 50 people have what officials call ‘walking injuries.'”
WTOP confirms nine dead.
The New York Times has President Obama‘s statement on the crash:
“Michelle and I were saddened by the terrible accident in Northeast Washington, D.C., today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends affected by this tragedy. I want to thank the brave first responders who arrived immediately to save lives. My staff has been in touch with Mayor Fenty’s office and will continue to monitor the situation.”
As of midnight, both the Times and the Washington Post have yet to report on the increased fatalities.
WJLA now confirms that nine passengers have died. Its source: Metro.
“The official death toll rose to nine from six about 11:30 p.m., Metro confirmed.
Crews will remain on the scene overnight, using cutting tools and the jaws of life to disentangle and separate the twisted cars which were ripped open and smashed together by the force of the collision.”
Just after midnight, City Desk contacted D.C. Fire Department Deputy Chief Kenneth Crosswhite who says he called the command post regarding the death toll. He says the death toll is still listed at six. “They are still at six,” Crosswhite says. “I don’t know where they are coming up with that number.”
Are they still going through the crash? Crosswhite says rescue workers are still going through the crash site. “They are still going through the process just verifying and checking out the train, making sure their are no patients now. I don’t know where they’re at. I was on the track, looked at the crash site.”
Crosswhite was at the scene earlier, he says one of the big problems was the huge hill that lead to the tracks: “Gaining access to the injured to the scene there, the topography of the land is not the best. They had to cut the fence away, and use a ladder to make steps….They searched the area around to make sure nobody wandered along the track bed. They checked the area out.”
That area included the nearby woods. Crosswhite says he ended up being tasked to drive the ambulance to transport two of the injured to a waiting helicopter.
“I had to drive the ambulance carrying the two [most severely injured] to the helicopter, to the land site at New Hampshire and Peabody.” There was nobody at that moment available to drive the ambulance, he explains.
“When was the last time I drove an ambulance? Wow. Wow. Probably 10-15 years ago,” Crosswhite. “I can drive them. I can even drive a ladder truck and a fire engine. They were very severely injured. The original landing site was on the bridge.”