Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Worcester Train Hits Bumper at South Station

The inbound P512 Worcester commuter train hit the bumper at the end of the track this morning at South Station, injuring 18 passengers. This is the train that usually arrives at South Station at around 9:05 AM ... and the train I've been taking lately, except for the past two days.

MBTA officials told the Herald that 18 people have been reported injured - including some passengers taken out of the station on backboards. The engineer and a conductor have been placed on paid leave while transit officials investigate the 9:08 a.m. accident. The engineer will undergo drug and alcohol testing.

But, T officials said today’s crash on the Worcester/Framingham line is due to operator error. The engineer said he “misjudged” the distance between the end of the line and a concrete bumper, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said. Pesaturo added there is no reports the engineer was on a cell phone “or any other electronic device.” He said the engineer has already submitted a letter to his boss stating it was operator error.

Commuters aboard train 512 had already stood up from their seats to exit the six-car train when it made contact with the bumping post, causing some people to fall down, said Pesaturo. “The train hit quickly and people bounced,” said Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald.

Passengers tell the Herald they were brought to their knees by the sudden collision. Officials said 100 people were on the train at the time of the crash. “We were slowing down to a normal stop then BANG! A hard stop,” said Shaw Lively, 56, who said he jumped on the train in Ashland for the first time in five years. “I went flying through the air,” he added, saying he hurt his knee.

Police said radio transmissions will be studied today and an expert will look at the brakes. The MBTA said that the train was moving at a low rate of speed when the accident occurred.
Emergency responders told the Herald 18 people were being treated for what first appeared to be minor back and neck injuries, with 13 of the injured transported to the hospital. Many victims had to be strapped into backboards to be taken away. Other passengers who had left the scene reportedly returned to tell emergency officials of neck or head pain. Another five who were injured did not need hospitalization.


Anonymous said...

Do you know who the engineer on this train is?

Richard said...

I take this train every Thursday from Worcester and stand up as it's entering South Station. I think from now on, I'm staying in my seat until the train stops. I'm not in that much of a rush to get to work or to my car.