BART Train Kills Two BART Employees (Update, with Audio)
Update, 5:56 p.m. : Statement from BART's General Manager.
Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse for the Bay Area's beleaguered rapid transit system, BART is now investigating the deaths of two train workers, apparently struck this afternoon on a section of track between Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill stations.
The Chron reports that both workers died at the scene shortly after 2 p.m. They were hit by a moving train even though BART service has been halted since Friday, when transit workers went out on their second strike of the year.
Though press reports diverge on whether the BART workers were union members -- according to the AP, one was a regular employee and one was a contractor -- BART says that at the time of the accident the train was running on auto-mode, albeit with an "experienced operator" at the controls. The workers were inspecting a dip in the track, a task which required one of them to peruse the track while the other served as a lookout for oncoming traffic.
BART has yet to release the names of the two employees. It's said in press statements that both had extensive experience working with moving trains. The experienced operator was a manager dispatched to shuttle two vandalized trains from a Concord yard to Richmond, according to the Contra Costa Times.
Within a couple hours of the accident, BART General Manager Grace Crunican released this statement:
"This is a tragic day in BART's history. The entire BART family is grieving. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our deceased co-workers. This accident is under investigation. All the proper authorities have been notified. Information will be provided as it becomes available and posted on www.bart.gov."
Here's what appears to be a radio transmission of the accident, courtesy of @MatthewKeysLive.