Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rolling the Safety Dice on Escalators Again?

Illustration from this event. Photo via Kate

It looks like Metro has been rolling the safety dice again, this time apparently letting three escalators at the Pentagon operate for months despite being overdue for critical annual inspections, according to a source in Metro's elevator and escalator department.

The source provided an email they say is from Metro's supervisor of inspectors to their boss,  the director of the department, the department's number two and several other top people in the department.

The email, which is dated Oct. 2, 2012,  lists the three escalators in question and shows the dates they were last inspected. One unit's inspection expired Oct. 19, of last year, another on Nov. 8, and the third on Nov. 28, according to the email. The escalators are scheduled to be replaced starting Feb. 4.

The email reads:
Here are the last annual inspection dates for the 3 units at Pentagon.
XXX and I spoke and we will stay away from these units.
Inspectors have been made aware not to inspect these units as well. 
The source said that in addition to forgoing an inspection, routine maintenance has not been done. Neither of these practices would be allowed in the private sector, they said.

The source said they would not let any loved one ride those escalators,  saying the brakes are not properly torqued, and they are constantly leaking brake fluid.

If this sounds familiar, remember that back in 2010, after the Rally for Sanity event, an escalator at L'Enfant Plaza went into free fall because the braking system failed. It was later revealed on this blog that Metro knew of the problem and did nothing.

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