East Bay BART service crippled following derailment

A BART train derailment in Concord disrupted service Sunday well into the night.

BART crews worked to remove the disabled train from the tracks Sunday night with a crane, and officials remained optimistic that normal service would be restored in time for the morning commute.

Buses carried passengers between the Pleasant Hill and Pittsburg-Bay Point stations Sunday. If the tracks could not be cleared in time, the same thing would be done on a larger scale this morning, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said Sunday.

Johnson said it would take up to 20 buses to carry all the passengers on one fully loaded BART train, so delays would be likely if that’s the only option.

“We’re pretty confident that we’ll be able to have those tracks open in the morning and ready for our morning commuters,” Johnson said. “We also have a contingency plan in case we can’t get those tracks cleared.”

The derailment took place about 9:20 a.m. as the 10-car train was leaving the Concord station headed for San Francisco International Airport. Somehow, wheels on the eighth and ninth cars of the train came off the tracks.

Johnson called it a “slow-speed derailment” and said it was witnessed by several BART police officers.

“They actually saw the train jackknife in front of them,” he said. “They called that surreal.”

About 65 people on the train, including some children, were evacuated, Johnson said.

Although initial reports from BART indicated there had been no injuries, Johnson said later reports to fire officials were that some people had minor injuries.

“We are still investigating why it derailed,” he said. Both BART and the California Public Utilities Commission are looking into the cause.


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