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Capital Metro Plans MetroRail Disaster Drill

Capital Metro plans to conduct a MetroRail emergency drill tonight
Callie Hernandez for KUT News
Capital Metro plans to conduct a MetroRail emergency drill tonight

If you see something that looks like a commuter train wreck in Williamson County tonight, it's only a test.  Capital Metro will conduct an emergency drill involving the MetroRail commuter service starting at 8:00 p.m. this evening somewhere between Leander and Lakeline stations.

Capital Metro says the exercise will involve local emergency responders from several surroundings jurisdictions. They say that they will simulate an emergency involving a MetroRail train that derails due to a medical emergency or a criminal act.

They hope to train first responders and Cap Metro staff on emergency coordination, evacuation and rescue procedures.  The exercise will also include mock calls to emergency responders with conflicting information about the location of the train.

Capital Metro says that the calls should go through a pre-arranged number to avoid tying-up the 911 system.

"We have done MetroRail emergency drills in the past. It is actually a requirement from the federal railroad administration," says the communication manager for Capital Metro, Adam Shaivitz. But "this is a little bit larger scale and somewhat different from the ones we have done in the past," he adds.

Reported by Ioli Campos

Ian Crawford joined KUT as News Editor in 2008, after spending over four years as a reporter/anchor at KLBJ Radio in Austin. He began his broadcasting career while still in high school in Southern Oregon. During high school and college at the University of Oregon, he worked at times as a reporter, news anchor, sports play-by-play reporter, music host and commercial producer before moving to Texas in 2003.