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20 injured in crash of D.C. train

Emergency personnel worked at Mount Vernon Square Metro station after a subway train derailed yesterday near downtown Washington. Twenty people were sent to hospitals and 60 were rescued from a tunnel. Service was halted near the station. (Nancy Pastor/washington times via associated press)

WASHINGTON -- A subway train derailed yesterday near downtown Washington, sending 20 people to the hospital and prompting the rescue of 60 people from a tunnel, officials said.

One train car derailed and struck a tunnel wall about 3:45 p.m. near the underground Mount Vernon Square station, which serves lines under the Washington Convention Center, Metro spokeswoman Cathy Asato said. About 150 people were aboard.

At least one person had a serious but not life-threatening injury, Asato said. The other injuries were mostly bumps and bruises.

About 60 people in the last two cars had to wait about 45 minutes for firefighters to escort them through the tunnel on a catwalk.

Service on two lines was halted in both directions near the station.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were sent . The train operator was undergoing routine drug and alcohol tests, Asato said. The woman has operated Metro trains since 2000.

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