Federal transportation safety officials say they have decided against sending investigators to the site of a fatal welding accident in a Metro subway tunnel in Washington because of the government shutdown.
In a statement posted on its website, the National Transportation Safety Board says it was notified of the accident that killed 41-year-old Harold Ingram and injured two others early Sunday, but decided against sending investigators.
The accident occurred between Union Station and Judiciary Square stations, approximately 400 feet from the Union Station platform. Investigators said there was a fire and loud noise that originated near heavy track equipment used to weld rail sections together in a continuous strip. The incident caused a 40-foot section of rail to move, striking Ingram and the two WMATA employees.
The NTSB says staffers are furloughed and this accident did not the meet criteria for exempting them from furlough. The agency says can only engage in activities to address "imminent threats to the safety of human life or for the protection of property."
The NTSB says it has asked Metro to provide its investigation report for evaluation in the future.