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Train operator thwarts Metro suicide attempt

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Local,Transportation,Kytja Weir

A man tried to kill himself on the Metro system Thursday morning but a train operator was able to stop the train before hitting him, according to Metro.

The man climbed down from the platform of the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport station about 7:55 a.m., then laid down on the tracks as a southbound train was approaching, said Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.

The operator saw the man and stopped the train in time. The man then got back onto the platform.

Transit police who were already at the station responded, Stessel said, and the man was taken to a local hospital.

Third rail power had been shut down at the station during the incident, causing some brief delays on the Blue and Yellow lines.

This year, seven other people have been hit by trains in suicide attempts, with four of them fatal.

It was not immediately clear whether the operator is among those who have already been trained in suicide prevention, a program announced in 2009. By January, Metro plans to have trained all station managers and train operators on how to spot and intervene with suicidal riders.

kweir@washingtonexaminer.com

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