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Light Rail Crash At Baltimore Airport

A light rail train crashed into a barrier at the end of a line Tuesday morning at Baltimore Washington International Airport, injuring nearly two dozen people.

Officials at three area hospitals said they treated 23 people involved in the crash, of whom 13 were released before noon. Anthony Brown, a spokesman for the Mass Transit Administration, said 21 people had been injured, one seriously.

The total number of passengers on the train at the time of the crash also was not known, Brown said.

MTA spokesman Frank Fulton said investigators had not ruled out mechanical failure as the cause of the crash.

"Evidently, a train was going too fast and could not stop at the station and went through the barrier at the international terminal," Fulton said.

The front of the train was crushed and had ridden up onto the abutment at the end of the line, but the train did not go into the terminal, Fulton said.

The train crashed into the terminal at 7:15 a.m. at the international pier, airport spokesman Ron Grubb said.

The MTA is leading the investigation of the crash, but the National Transportation Safety Board is also on the scene.

Air traffic at the airport was not affected, although some roads leading to the terminal were closed temporarily and traffic on the roads was slowed after they were reopened, said Jennifer Cassidy, a BWI spokeswoman.

Airport shuttle buses were taking airline passengers only as far as the closest parking lots, from where they had to walk to the terminal with their luggage.

The crash was similar to a February crash in which a light rail train also crashed into the barrier at the end of the line at BWI. The driver in the February crash was accused of using prescription and illegal drugs and charged with reckless endangerment.

Federal investigators determined that the train in the February crash was traveling too fast as it approached the stop. Twenty four people were injured in that crash.

Following Tuesday's crash, light rail passengers were being shuttled from the Linthicum stop to the BWI business district stop and the BWI airport stop.

John White, spokesman for BWI, said no cancellations or flight delays resulted from the accident.

The "vast majority of people who come in on light rail at this time are employees," White said.

White said large numbers of passengers did not miss flights because of the accident.

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