A failure to communicate resulted in death of NY transit worker
Two employees of New York City Transit (NYCT) were struck by a subway train – one fatally - because the Rail Control Center failed to let the train dispatcher and tower operator know that flaggers were on the track. That’s the conclusion of a just-released National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report on the incident, which occurred on November 3, 2016 in a tunnel between the Fort Hamilton Parkway and Church Avenue stations.
Ironically, when they were struck by the train, the two NYCT employees were setting up flagging protection for someone else - a contractor who needed to cross the track to access an instrument control room in the tunnel.
One NYCT employee was killed, and one was seriously injured. After the accident, 23 passengers were evacuated while the crew remained with the train. The transit equipment and the track structure did not sustain any damage.
The NTSB investigation identified additional factors that contributed to the incident:
- NYCT's absence of a risk assessment when planning its flagging operations and
- The fact that it permits train movements into unprotected work zones