WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (TheBlaze/AP) — Police from the San Francisco Bay Area’s rapid transit system say two employees performing maintenance have been struck and killed by a train.
Saturday afternoon’s accident on a track in Walnut Creek comes amid a strike by Bay Area Rapid Transit workers that has shut the system down. But some trains were being moved by managers.
It was unclear how the 1:45 p.m. accident occurred. BART Deputy Police Chief Ben Fairow confirmed the deaths to the Contra Costa Times. The newspaper said there are two tarps on the tracks about 150 yards apart.
A statement from BART management said that the employees — one BART employee and one contractor — were performing track inspections at the time of the accident, the Times reports, adding that both had “extensive” experience working around moving trains and that procedures called for one worker to inspect the track and the other to act as a lookout, watching for any oncoming traffic.
More from the Times:
A review of BART radio communications indicate a male train operator was communicating with a female employee, who was counting down measurements, telling the operator to “keep coming, keep coming.” As she instructed him to move forward, she suddenly began yelling: “Stop! Stop! Slow down! Slow down! Stop! … Stop!”
A screech can then be heard on the transmission.
The train operator, who sources say was an operator supervisor who drove trains two decades ago, then reported: “BART emergency! BART emergency to Central! We just struck some individuals (at a track location) … Central be advised it may be BART employees.”
“These people are not trained to do these jobs,” one anonymous BART worker told the Times, referring to managers, some former train operators, who have been moving trains during the work stoppage.
BART officials said in a statement that they would release more information later Saturday. BART management and union officials have been at an impasse over contract negotiations since Thursday.
Here’s raw video of the aftermath from KPIX-TV in San Francisco: