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San Francisco Area Train Accident Takes the Lives of Two Workers

traindeath.jpg Two workers who were inspecting train tracks Saturday afternoon were hit and killed by a commuter train returning from routine maintenance work in the San Francisco Bay area. The tragedy came amid a strike that has closed the Bay Area Rapid Transit system to riders over the past several days. BART’s Assistant General Manager Paul Oversier stated at a news conference that, at the time of the accident, the four-car train was being operated in automatic mode under computer control. Oversier stated that there were numerous people aboard the train, but he would not reveal who had been operating the train.

The accident occurred just before 2 p.m. Saturday in the East Bay city of Walnut Creek. One contractor and one system employee were killed in the crash. The names and ages of the individuals killed were not immediately released. BART officials said that the train was at a yard where workers were cleaning off graffiti. According to BART, the two workers who died in the accident were performing track inspections. Both individuals had extensive experience in this line of work.

Officials from the unions representing BART’s train operators and other system workers warned of the danger inherent in allowing managers to operate trains, which was BART’s plan if a strike occurred. The unions have been out on strike since Friday. BART officials refused to answer questions concerning the union’s warnings about train safety during a strike. The National Transportation Safety Board announced late Saturday that it will take over investigations surrounding the accident.

Train kills 2 track workers amid SF Bay strike, www.palmbeachpost.com October 20, 2013


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