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Congress to hold hearing on DC subway shutdown

Associated Press
A rider holds on as a Metro train arrives in the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station Tuesday, March 15, 2016 in Washington. The head of the rail system that serves the nation's capital and its Virginia and Maryland suburbs says the system will shut down for a full day after a fire near one of the system's tunnels. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The latest breakdown of Washington's subway system has attracted the attention of Congress.

Two subcommittees that oversee the District of Columbia will hold a hearing next week on the recent decision to shut down the entire system for a day for emergency repairs.

Metro's general manager and board chairman are slated to testify at Wednesday's hearing, along with two federal transportation officials.

General manager Paul Wiedefeld said he decided to shut down the system for an entire day last month because he couldn't guarantee that it was safe to run trains. The shutdown allowed for inspections of third-rail power cables. Inspectors found 27 places that needed immediate repairs.

A problem with the third-rail power cables caused a train to fill with smoke last January, killing a passenger