WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – Metro has suspended all rail service all day Wednesday to perform safety checks after a fire Monday morning that significantly impacted service, Metro announced on Tuesday.
All Metrorail services were shut down after midnight on Wednesday and will remain shut down until 5 a.m. Thursday. Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said Metro will be using that time to inspect 600 underground "jumper cables."
Federal offices are open on Wednesday with the option for unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework.
D.C. Public Schools and Public Charter Schools and the D.C. government are open Wednesday. Central office personnel are asked to report on time. The school system is working with Metro to provide additional bus service and student tardiness and absences will be excused.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Wiedefeld said Monday's fire found "commonalties" to the fatal L'Enfant Plaza smoke incident.
Carol Glover, 61, of Alexandria, Va., died of acute respiratory failure due to smoke exposure after smoke filled the L'Enfant Plaza station in January 2015.
"The most prudent thing to do is to find out what's wrong and fix it," said Wiedefeld.
Metro's board chairman said they support Wiedefeld's decision to shut down all Metorail service.
"It is the safety of the customers," said Wiedefeld.
Around 4:30 a.m. Monday, a fire broke out on the tracks outside the McPherson Square station. The fire was out around two hours later, but Blue and Orange trains single tracked between Foggy Bottom and Federal Triangle through the evening rush hour.
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Metro service operated as normal Tuesday morning.
Virginia Rail Express will operate as normal on Wednesday.