Feds probe workers' deaths during San Francisco Bay area transit strike
OAKLAND, Calif. — Federal accident investigators were in the San Francisco Bay area on Sunday to examine the deaths of two transit workers who were struck by an out-of-service commuter train while performing routine maintenance.
Saturday's accident on Bay Area Rapid Transit tracks in the East Bay city of Walnut Creek took place against the backdrop of a contentious and disruptive labor strike.
Two National Transportation Safety Board investigators were at the site of the accident on Sunday, NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss said.
The two-man team led by Jim Southworth, the board's railroad accident investigator-in-charge, will be looking at everything leading up to the collision, from safety procedures and qualifications of personnel to the track's condition.
“We will be the lead agency in the safety investigation into how and why this happened,” Weiss said.
The four-car BART train with several people aboard was being run in automatic mode under computer control at the time of the accident, Assistant General Manager Paul Oversier said. The system has been shut down since Friday because of a work stoppage by the system's two largest unions.
The train was returning from a yard where workers cleaned graffiti from unused cars when it slammed into the two workers — one a BART employee and the other a contractor — who were inspecting an above-ground stretch of track between stations, Oversier said.
Neither BART nor the county coroner has released the names and ages of the victims. They were the sixth and seventh workers to die on the job in the system's 41-year history.
Since the death in May of a foreman who was killed by a passenger train in West Haven, Conn., the NTSB has been promoting improved safety measures for track maintenance crews, Weiss said.
In June, the board urged the Metro-North Railroad to provide backup protection for crews that were relying on dispatchers to close tracks while they are being worked on and to light the appropriate signals.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fetal parts in Planned Parenthood lab shown in 4th video
- Only 1 co-op health program, of 23, made money in 2014, report says
- Feds eye use of federal dollars for ads for for-profit colleges
- Christian college in Illinois to stop providing health care over Obamacare
- VA whistle-blowers aghast
- Geological gem The Wave on Arizona-Utah border draws worldwide visitors
- OSU band song mocked Holocaust victims
- Highway bill on Obama’s desk extends funding 3 months
- Piece of plant found on island on way to France for analysis
- Defense chief approves arming more troops at soft sites
- McClatchy: Emails on Clinton’s private server contain Benghazi information