Man Dies After Being Dragged By D.C. Metro Train When Dog Leash Gets Caught In Door
A Red Line Metro train arrives in the Metro Center station in Washington on Monday, July 25, 2022.
(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

A man died on Wednesday after his dog leash got caught in the door of a D.C. Metro train and he was dragged down the platform of a Northern Virginia station, according to authorities.

The Metro Transit Police Department, the law enforcement arm of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), said the tragic incident happened shortly before 1:30 p.m. at the Dunn Loring Station in Fairfax County, Virginia, about 12 miles west of Washington, D.C.

“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,” police said in a statement.

“This obstruction caused the individual to be dragged on the platform and onto the tracks,” the statement added.

An investigation that includes the examination of video is underway.

Police said the incident took place about 450 feet away from the operator cab, and the train operator performed two “safety checks” before moving the train.

Police said the man was taken to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries. The dog, which does not appear to be a service animal, is in police care, the statement said.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of the deceased,” Metro Transit Police said.

Dogs that are not service animals are not allowed to ride “unconfined” on Metrorail and Metrobus, WMATA says. “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 adds.

Adam Truss, a transportation reporter for NBC Washington, said the train operator should have received a notification if something is stuck in a car door. “So that is certainly troubling,” he added during a news report from the scene.

The deadly incident comes as Metro considers bringing back automated trains, as early as this year.

While the system was built for automation, Metro’s train operators have manually stopped trains ever since a 2009 crash that killed nine people and injured dozens more.

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