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30 Years Ago Today

On January 13, 1982, a plane crashed into the [14th Street Bridge in Washington, DC], killing all but four passengers and one flight attendant of the 79 people aboard the aircraft. Four motorists on the bridge also died in the accident. Pilot error and poor weather conditions were blamed ...

Rescue crews and ambulances struggled through traffic to reach the scene on that snowy afternoon. The federal government had released its employees early, and roads were jammed. Then came word about 30 minutes later that a crowded Orange Line train had slammed into a concrete pillar near the Smithsonian station.

The first fatal accident in the history of Metro would injure 25 passengers and kill three others.

- The Washington Post


I was about 18 months into my first full-time professional job that day, as a copy editor at the American Geophysical Union just north of Dupont Circle. AGU released its employees when the government did. My colleague Carole and I, who both lived in Arlington, Virginia, started home on the Metro. We could not make the transfer to the Orange line. Rumors flew around the crowded station platforms, and then the news about the plane crash started to get mixed into it. We bailed out of the crowded Metro station and walked to a nearby McDonalds for hot chocolate, and there the news started to come together. You must remember that almost no one had cellphones in 1982 and, even if they had, there were no online news services worth talking about. I think we may have eventually walked to Foggy Bottom, and picked up a train home from there.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
rachel_reicheru
Jan. 14th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC)
Its terrible to read what happened. I never knew about this (well was a bit before my time.) but its good to remember it. I am sure those who lost their lives would be glad that the day is being remembered.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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