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Washington, D.C., Metro welding accident kills worker

(Reuters) - A contractor was killed and two other workers injured overnight in a welding accident on the Washington, D.C., Metro rail system, the railroad said on Sunday.

The railroad said the welding may have ignited hydraulic fluid nearby, according to Metro spokeswoman Caroline Lukas, who said the incident was still being investigated.

The unidentified contractor died at a hospital where he was taken after the accident, which occurred shortly after midnight as he was welding in the Red Line tunnel between Union Station and Judiciary Square.

The other workers, who also were not identified, were hospitalized in stable condition with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, Lukas said.

All Red Line track work was suspended, the statement said. Work was to continue after safety briefings and Metro's on-site investigations have been completed.

Metro notified the Tri-state Oversight Committee and the National Transportation Safety Board of the accident.

The Red Line service in the area already had been suspended for the track work, part of a $5 billion capital improvement program. Normal service will resume before the Monday morning commute.

(Reporting By Noreen O'Donnell; Editing by Bill Trott)

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