Well it seems that a lot more work is to be done in regards to improving track worker safety. According to an article on the Daily News’ website, three workers were almost run over by a train in Astoria. The incident took place on September 6th but it is now becoming public knowledge. Here is the article about the incident courtesy of the NY Daily News:
A subway supervisor and two track workers were nearly run over by a subway train rumbling past a stop signal in Queens, the Daily News has learned.
NYC Transit said yesterday it is investigating the Sept. 6 near miss in Astoria, which came after two veteran track workers were killed in separate incidents this year.
“We are taking this very seriously,” said NYC Transit spokesman Charles Seaton.
The workers in the train’s path were able to get out of the way, according to their report of the incident. But they said the supervisor froze in place as the train neared.
“I looked directly at the train flying through [the signal] and breaking the red flag,” one of the workers recalled in a report obtained by The News. “I thought we were about to be killed by this train.”
Luckily, the train was halted by a safety device called a tripper, which activated the train’s emergency brakes.
“If the the tripper did not work [the supervisor] would have been cut in half right in front of me,” the worker said. “He never moved an inch during this whole scenario.”
According to the trackman, the train came to a stop about 75 feet in front of the supervisor. Other transit sources said it was closer to 100 feet.
Both track workers said the supervisor joined his men in doing manual labor and allegedly was distracted.
“The supervisor was not supervising. He was working and not in tune with keeping us safe,” the second worker wrote in his report of the incident.
After the deaths in April of subway workers Daniel Boggs and Marvin Franklin within days of each other, NYC Transit President Howard Roberts temporarily halted nonessential track work and enacted some new safety regulations and procedures.
“The MTA has long had an anti-safety culture,” Transport Workers Union President Roger Toussaint said. “The new leadership is trying to fix that, but it’s clearly going to take some time.”
Lets just say some heads will be rolling once this situation is taken care of. Who knows how many workers are going to face some major punishment. Thankfully the portable tripper was in place to prevent what would have been sure deaths. I can only imagine how much trouble the T.O. will be in as he/she committed one of the most serious offenses possible, running past a red flag or lantern.
Here is a link to an interesting thread on Subchat that will break down the incident more. I’m sure the thread will have a bunch of responses in the next few days.