The head of the transit agency that oversees the subway in the nation's capital says firefighters had difficulty using their radios during a recent emergency because fire officials had made changes to their radio system without alerting the agency.

The Metro transit agency's interim General Manager Jack Requa said Thursday that the District of Columbia's fire department had made the changes without alerting his agency.

Requa said fire officials encrypted their radios, which made their radios almost non-working. He said that after Metro got access to the site where firefighters made the changes, they were able to determine what had been done and respond accordingly.

One woman died and more than 80 others were hospitalized during the Jan. 12 incident in which an electrical malfunction brought a train to a halt inside a tunnel near a busy downtown station.