BART collision investigation underway

February 4, 2009 3:34:13 PM PST
So far so good for BART Wednesday morning after a Tuesday accident that sent more than a dozen people to the hospital.

Two trains collided near the 12 Street BART station in Oakland. Officials still do not know why this happened but an investigation is underway and they are taking their time with it.

The crash occurred Tuesday around 3 p.m. and the trains were finally towed off the tracks around 4:30 Wednesday morning.

Officials are still trying to figure out why two trains were trying to get on the exact same tracks at the exact same time. One train west heading for Richmond. The other was heading towards Pittsburg.

The trains derailed, eventually settling awkwardly against each other. Responding emergency crews set up a triage to take care of the passengers.

If there was any good news about the incident, it was that the trains were going slowly. Of the 300 people that were affected, 13 were taken to a hospital.

"They generally go very slowly through here because of the fact that it is a major intersection. So, that probably explains why we didn't have any serious injuries. In this case we had one train in automatic, meaning the computers were controlling it, and then another train coming from West Oakland. That train was in manual mode, so a person was controlling it. So, we'll have to figure out what happened," explained BART spokesman Linton Johnson.

Both trains were taken to the BART maintenance yard where they are being gone over very carefully to find out whether it was the computer's problem, an engineer's problem or a conductor's problem.

The investigation is continuing.


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