A collision between two light rail commuter trains in San Francisco has left nearly 50 people injured in what is the third major rail accident in the United States in recent months.
The light rail crash occurred on Saturday at about 3 p.m. when one San Francisco Municipal Railway train rear-ended another train at West Portal Station. At least 47 people were injured, including the driver. Some of the injuries were serious, but San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officials said none appeared to be life threatening.
According to media reports, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating whether the driver inappropriately switched the train from automatic to manual control just before the accident. The investigation is ongoing, and the driver is still recovering in San Francisco General Hospital.
Standard procedure for the San Francisco Municipal Railway is to keep the train on automatic when entering a station, so that the automatic break system can react if there is another train in close proximity.
The San Francisco light rail accident is at least the third major incident involving commuter trains since May.
On June 22, nine people were killed, including the driver, and 80 others injured in a Washington, D.C. Metro accident that occurred when a subway train on the Red Line rear-ended another train outside of the Fort Totten Station. Investigators are looking at a possible track malfunction or maintenance error in that case and several DC Metro accident lawsuits have already been filed on behalf of crash victims.
On May 8, a Boston trolly accident resulted in injuries for 62 passengers when one train rear-ended another. Aiden Quinn, one of the trolly operators, is being arraigned today for sending text messages at the time of the accident.