NTSB neglects safety of maintenance workers just like the DOJ neglects safety of abducted children

October 7, 2013

The National Transportation Safety Board won’t investigate yesterday’s Washington, D.C. subway explosion which killed one man and injured two others because it doesn’t involve “imminent threats to the safety of human life” even though the explosion occurred during an ongoing maintenance project.

A Washington, D.C. Metro rail line pulling into a station. Credit: laffy4k via Flickr
A Washington, D.C. Metro rail line pulling into a station.
Credit: laffy4k via Flickr

At least 100 workers were present at the site of the explosion, a construction zone designated for subway track maintenance on the Red Line, the primary Metro track in Washington, D.C.

“Our first order of business after attending to the injured is to prevent anyone else from being hurt,” said Metro Chief Safety Officer James Dougherty, according to the Washington Times. “We also need to ensure we have the safest possible working conditions going forward, which means learning lessons from the investigation of this accident.”

Dougherty won’t be getting any help from the NTSB anytime soon, however.

The NTSB released a bulletin stating that although the agency knew about the fatality, it will not launch an investigation into the accident because of the government “shutdown.”

“Due to a lapse in funding, NTSB staff are furloughed,” the bulletin reads. “The agency can only engage in those activities necessary to address imminent threats to the safety of human life or for the protection of property.”

Metro indicated that the explosion occurred during routine maintenance which is now occurring nearly every weekend on selected rail lines.

The construction workers who survived yesterday’s explosion, the cause of which is currently unknown, will likely be back to work this upcoming weekend in the same work environment.

Contrast the NTSB’s decision to the Department of Homeland Security’s plan to keep 93% of Transportation Security Administration workers exempt from the government shutdown, including TSA airport screeners.

“Imminent danger to life or property would result from their termination,” the DHS said of its employees.

While the DHS feels that “imminent danger to life” would occur if airport screeners do not grope the public, the NTSB on the other hand does not feel that investigating an explosion which led to the death of one man would fit the same criteria, even though such an accident could occur to maintenance workers again next weekend.

The accident even damaged public transportation infrastructure in our nation’s capital, yet somehow the NTSB feels that an investigation wouldn’t address “the protection of property.”

The federal government would rather provide a politically-expedient illusion of safety, a notion well-exposed this weekend by a nine-year-old boy who successfully snuck on a flight after avoiding TSA “security.”

The NTSB decision fits the current trend and criminal pattern of the federal government to deny taxpayers access to public areas and services during the “shutdown” in order to “make life as difficult for people as we can,” as one National Park Service Ranger put it.

This total disregard for the safety of Metro maintenance workers is exactly the same type of neglect the Justice Dept. now holds towards abducted children after the department purposely shut down the Amber Alert web site as a political stunt.

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