Metro is investigating a disturbing incident on the Red Line Tuesday morning. Several doors suddenly opened on a train while it was still moving.
Metro says it is not sure how many doors flew open on the northbound train as it sped between Van Ness and Tenleytown just after 9 a.m., but two rail cars experienced malfunctions.
In a photo snapped by journalism grad student Monica Arpino and tweeted to the blog Unsuck DC Metro, you can see her fellow Metro riders holding on with a door open as the train is in transit.
"I would have been scared if that happened to me," says Metro rider Lindsay Bever. "Even if I was a passenger sitting, I would have been scared because that shouldn't happen."
Metro says it is still investigating the incident. The transit agency calls it an "uncommanded door opening involving two cars" and multiple doors on two of the system's oldest rail cars, the 1000-series.
There were no injuries. Metro says all passengers were off-loaded at Tenleytown. The train was sent to the yard at Shady Grove for inspection.
"It's scary," says rider Jessica Kelly. "I mean, if anyone was leaning on the doors - I know they say don't lean on the doors, but every day there's somebody leaning on the doors - so if there was someone leaning on there at that point, I don't know what would have happened."
Metro says its engineers are doing diagnostic work, not just on the two cars that experienced that malfunction, but on the entire train.
The transit agency has been having what it calls "persistent" door problems on its railcars - leading to a 17 percent increase in delays the first quarter of this year over the same period last year.
Metro Spokesperson Dan Stessel tells FOX 5 in an email, "Like most trains, it had a mix of car types. The cars where doors opened were 1000-series cars, but I caution that door commands are train-lined, which means it is simply too early to ascribe cause to a particular railcar series."