Cause of BART derailment unknown

BART officials expect the investigation into Wednesday’s train derailment to take “several days, if not weeks,” an agency spokesman said.
A northbound BART train carrying 75 people derailed about 10:25 a.m. Wednesday near the Oakland City Center/12th Street station. No one was injured, as the train had been moving relatively slowly, authorities said.

Two passengers complained of chest pain following the accident and were taken, in stable condition, to an Oakland hospital, Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Jenny Ray said.

The five-car, Richmond-bound train derailed inside the tunnel some 200 feet away from the 12th Street station platform, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said.

Three of four wheels at the front of the train went off-track, he said. The train was slowing down as it approached the station and had reached an area where typical speed is a “little over 15 mph,” Johnson said.

“[The derailment] was very minor,” Ray said. “It was hard to actually see that it was derailed.”

Fire crews assessed passengers aboard the train before escorting them from the tunnel and onto the platform, Ray said. The evacuation was orderly, she said.

The location of the derailment may spook passengers. The last time a BART train derailed, it occurred “in roughly the same spot as [Wednesday’s] incident,” Johnson said.

In February, 13 people sustained minor injuries and hundreds more had their nerves rattled when two BART trains collided near the
12th Street station.

In that incident, a Pittsburg/Bay Point-bound train smashed into a Richmond-bound train after an operator failed to follow an order, Johnson said. Both trains derailed.

Johnson said it’s unlikely track conditions stemming from the February incident caused Wednesday’s incident, though investigators won’t rule anything out, he said.

Wednesday’s incident caused minor delays, Johnson said. BART adjusted by running trains on alternate tracks, he said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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