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Archive for Sunday, November 27, 2005

Monorail train collision injures two people

November 27, 2005

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— Two monorail trains clipped each other on a curve in the tracks Saturday evening in the heart of Seattle. Two people with minor injuries were taken to hospitals, a fire official said.

Seattle firefighters on four ladder trucks were helping passengers off the only two trains on the one-mile, 43-year-old elevated line between downtown and the Seattle Center.

About 55 people were on one train and 20 on the other when they collided near Westlake Center, said Helen Fitzpatrick, Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman. She said each person was checked for injuries after reaching the ground.

Several blocks of Fifth Avenue were closed after the accident, which happened shortly after 7 p.m., she said.

The monorail was built for the Seattle World's Fair in 1962 and has been popular with tourists, drawing as many as 23,000 riders a day. But a years-long fight to expand the system met with sound rejection this month.

Voters had approved a 14-mile system in 2002, but opposition grew after the estimated price more than quadrupled to $11.4 billion. On Nov. 8 voters junked the project entirely, rejecting a 10.6-mile, $4.9 billion alternative monorail proponents had offered.

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