Construction of the Summerfield and Largo Metro Stations is scheduled for completion in December 2004 as part of the extension of the Blue Line from Addison Road to Largo. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is preparing emergency personnel to better handle emergencies within the transit system by scheduling mock disasters. This year’s disaster drill was held at the Largo Station at 9000 Lottsford Road in Station 46’s first due area. This drill was part of WMATA’s “Operation Start-up 2004”.
On Saturday, October 16, 2004, units from fire departments in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia participated in the mock disaster. Units from Prince George’s County included: Engine 461 from Kentland – Station 46; Tower 33 from Kentland – Station 33; Engine 51, Metro Support Unit 5 and Paramedic Ambulance 5 from Capitol Heights – Station 5, Rescue Squad 8 from Seat Pleasant – Station 8 and Quint 22 from Tuxedo Cheverly – Station 22.
Montgomery County, Maryland, Department of Fire & Rescue Services units included Engine 951 and Ambulance 908. Arlington County, Virginia Fire Department (ACFD) units included Engine 108. The District of Columbia Fire Department (DCFD) participated with Tower 3. In addition to fire and emergency medical personnel, various law enforcement officials participated. These law enforcement agencies included the Prince George’s County Police Department, the WMATA Transit Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Terrorism Task Force.
Shortly after 0800 hours units were dispatched to the Largo Station for a reported explosion on a train as it was entering the station. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was reported to have exploded and there were reports of a fire and numerous people trapped aboard the train.
Engine 461, MDFRS Engine 951, Tower 33, Metro Support Unit 5, Rescue Squad 8 and Paramedic Ambulance 5 and MDFRS Ambulance 908 responded to the Largo Station at 9000 Lottsford Road. Engine 51 and DCFD Tower 3 responded to the exit shaft located to the rear of 425 Brightseat Road.
Units from Stations 46 and 33 arrived first to find a train stopped on the elevated portion of the track about 500 feet prior to the station on Track #1. Fire and smoke were visible from the train. Engine 461 established a water supply and began to supply the standpipe system. Crews continued to stage until the “all clear” was given by bomb technicians using K-9s to sweep the area. Numerous suspicious packages were found aboard the train. Engine 461, Engine 951 and Tower 33 approached the train from the Largo Station to find approximately a dozen injured persons ranging from the walking wounded to critically injured persons.
Engine 51 and Tower 3 approached from the west by entering the exit shaft and proceeding down the track bed, over I-95, to the train.