DC Metro Accident Lawyers For Smoke Inhalation Injury

Carl Saiontz

By Carl Saiontz
Posted January 14, 2015


The Maryland personal injury lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential claims for passengers the D.C. Metro train that filled with smoke at L’Enfant Plaza on Monday, sending dozens of people to the hospital with side effects of a smoke inhalation injury.


The DC Metro accident occurred on the evening of January 12, when smoke filled a subway train on the Yellow Line. While it appears that this incident may have been preventable, a series of errors may have caused prolonged exposure to the smoke for passengers, potentially resulting in the need for long-term health monitoring.

2861010541_5fed24f591_zEarly reports suggest that the incident was caused by electrical arcing from water on the track, which produced smoke so thick that it left passengers unable to see and struggling for breath, according to witnesses and video released. A number of passengers lost consciousness due to the smoke injury.

Passengers were stuck on the smoke-filled train for an unreasonably long period of time before they were able to be rescued, and investigations into both the cause of the smoke and the delayed ability to rescue passengers are on-going.

Reports suggest that at least 84 people were hospitalized and one man died from smoke inhalation injury. However, another 200 DC Metro passengers were treated on-site and may have injuries that require medical treatment and monitoring.

DC Metro Smoke Inhalation Risks

As a result of the duration and severity of the smoke exposure, many passengers initially examined or treated and released may still face a risk of continuing health problems that will need to be monitored.

Injury from smoke inhalation is usually the cause of death of most people caught in fires, and it is often considered more deadly than the fire itself.

Smoke can include a number of dangerous substances, including carbon monoxide and other poisonous gases, particulate matter that can invade the lungs, and chemicals from whatever materials may be burning or emitting the smoke. In enclosed spaces, like a subway train car, the impacts are magnified.

The most immediate risks are to people with respiratory problems, such as those with asthma or those who smoke. They may feel the effects of smoke exposure the fastest. However, effects of oxygen deprivation likely impacted all passengers trapped on the Metro train, as they were unable to get air into their lungs and oxygen into their blood for a period of time.

Personal injury lawsuits are being investigated by the lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. for all passengers impacted by this DC Metro smoke accident, seeking financial compensation for this preventable incident and for damages that may have been avoided if certain actions had been taken after the smoke began to fill the train.

All claims are handled by our DC Metro accident lawyers on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no out of pocket expenses to hire our law firm and there are no attorney fees or expenses unless a recovery is obtained. Request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

To review a potential claim for yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

Photo via ChrisDag/Flickr

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