An incident with a Red line commuter train in Quincy Thursday morning could have been tragic. The train traveled multiple stops without an operator, before it was forced to a stop by MBTA operations personnel. According to witnesses, the operator got off the train to check a problem in Braintree, around 6 a.m. However, for reasons as yet unknown, the train began to move, striking the operator. The train picked up speed and rolled through three stops, Quincy Adams, Quincy Center, and Wollaston, before coming to a complete stop just beyond North Quincy. Contact a Boston Injury Lawyer Today.
When MBTA operations personnel were notified of the incident, they immediately de-powered the third rail, forcing the train to a stop. Passengers were unaware of the danger they were in. In fact, when the train came to a complete stop, rail workers boarded and operated it to JFK/UMass, at which point they requested all remaining passengers to exit.
The cause of the incident is currently under investigation. However, investigators are looking into reports that someone may have tampered with a safety device in the train’s cab. As part of the investigation, both witnesses and the train operator are being questioned. Although foul play has not yet been confirmed, a statement from Gov. Charlie Baker, certainly makes it sound likely. “This train was tampered with, and it was tampered with by someone who knows what he was doing,” said Baker. He then went on to say, “This was an isolated incident, a tampered train, tampered by someone, and we’ll get to the bottom of it, and I’m sure we’ll have more to say about it shortly. Hopefully by the end of the day.”
Although the operator was injured, his injuries are not life-threatening. He is being treated at South Shore Hospital. Fortunately, no one else was injured. In a statement following the incident, Frank DePaola, MBTA’s General Manager, said, “Passenger safety is the highest priority for the MBTA, and this highly troubling incident is under investigation by Transit Police detectives.”
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As the above case is still under investigation, we don’t yet know if the cause was due to mechanical error, faulty parts, negligence, or criminal actions. Fortunately in this case, no serious injuries were reported. But it serves as a good reminder that commuter trains are heavy, fast-moving, dangerous machines, and we should always be aware of our surroundings when traveling on any kind of train or subway system. So many of us make our morning and evening commutes on auto-pilot, staring at our phone screens, or listening to music. These are great ways to pass the time, but just remember to pay attention to what is going on around you at all times. Continue reading