Sick train causes big delay on the red line 9/12

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Sick train causes big delay on the red line 9/12

Postby StevieC48 » Sun Sep 12, 2004 3:10 pm

There was bussing today between South Station and Kendall Station. Because a train had entered the station with numerous passengers becomming ill. Upon further investigation someone discovered a blue powderery substance in the train. This prompted the response of the Boston Fire Dept Haz-Mat team, Boston EMS Incident response team and MBTA PD special ops dept. The train was isolate at approximately 4pm and moved to Cabot under the direction of the Boston Fire Department where they will decontaminate and investigate it further. Numerous agencys both state and fedral are standing by at Cabot Yard. What a day.
Last edited by StevieC48 on Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ctaman34 » Sun Sep 12, 2004 3:40 pm

atleast the chaos wasn't like the blackout of 2003
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Postby efin98 » Sun Sep 12, 2004 4:23 pm

ctaman34 wrote:atleast the chaos wasn't like the blackout of 2003


It wasn't but the consequences could have been much worse.

Any word on whether the substance was a weapon or some stupid prank?
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Postby CSX Conductor » Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:04 pm

I was at the Boston Commons when the first fire engine showed-up, but when I heard and saw two or 3 more coming I walked over to Park street sttion to see what the hell was happening, but of course nobody had any clue, just that shutlle bus service would be between "Kenmore and Broadway", shows how bright some T officials are. LOL

anyways, to make matters worse, there were NO Bostn Police to be seen. The BPD should have at least assisted in this chaos by closing Tremont Street off at either Cambridge or Beacon streets.......but they didn't and traffic was gridlocked because of all the BFD vehicles at the station. Finally, when two ambulances were stuck a block & 1/2 away two MBTA cops smartened-up and closed Tremont st at Beacon St.

Of course many people were asking where the shuttle busss were, and they were all expecting busses to be there waiting....haha, not. I told one girl she would be better off walking to her destination (Broadway). she thought I was being a wise guy, but when I explained to her that this had all just started about 10 minutes earlier, that by the time drivers and busses were called and en-route, plus the heavytraffic......she would probably wait at least 30 to 45 minutes, along with about 500 others :(


anyone else nearby today? or maybe riding the system elsewhere at the time?
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:34 pm

Oh boy, another scare on the Red line....

And no Boston PD on scene either? Maybe its an MBTA matter, so MBTA police were the ones responsible to investigate, and I think it may have been pepper spray most likely, it could have been something else also, but I think its most likely pepper spray, since that's easy to obtain.
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Sun Sep 12, 2004 7:17 pm

can pepper spray make people sick?
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Postby CSX Conductor » Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:04 pm

Although the situation was onMBTA property, below ground, Boston police should have been in the immediate area if not for anything else, traffic duty. What if is was more severe? and more emergency equipment needed to be brought in? a least if the streets in the immediate area were closed off, maybe other responders would be able to access the scene quicker. :wink:
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:05 pm

can pepper spray make people sick?

Yes, it can actually. It's caused various illnesses when released into confined, enclosed public space, for example in a train like that.
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Postby efin98 » Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:21 pm

BPD would handle the traffic, TPD would handle the crowds in that situation but I think because of a possible HAZMAT situation downstairs and all the fire aparatus that were responding and the major streets that the situation occured at things got mangled a bit. Considering how many stations had to be closed and how many inspectors and officers would be needed it takes a while for things to happen. I wouldn't expect inspectors to know what is going on for at least 15-20 minutes at a minimum because of the scene assessment and response time along with the relevent street closures. 30-40 minutes for shuttle buses to arrive is nothing, I would have given it at least an hour before the first shuttle bus showed up from Cabot or Charlsetown/Bennett. And if the incident was severe enough I would not be surprised if shuttle buses were rerouted to Washington Street and did not stop near at Park Street at all.
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Postby Ron Newman » Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:38 am

I don't understand why they didn't just take the train out of service and run it express to Alewife (or Cabot Yard, or Ashmont or Braintree, depending on which way it was heading). That would only have caused about 10 minutes of disruption and then everyone could have gotten back to normal while they inspected the train at a yard.
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Postby Ron Newman » Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:52 am

We left the Boston Ahts Festival around 3 pm and arrived at South Station 15 minutes later, where we found the collector's booth unstaffed and the gate open. When we got to the inbound platform there was an empty train sitting with its doors closed.

Eventually we learned there was some kind of "medical emergency" at Park Street, so we walked back up to the street, didn't see any shuttle buses, and walked on to Park Street. There we saw lots of fire trucks and other emergency vehicles, but still no shuttle buses, so we kept walking to Charles Street.

No trains or buses at Charles either, so onward to the Longfellow Bridge, where we met a steady stream of pedestrians walking the other way. Many of them were "Parrotheads" on their way to the Jimmy Buffett concert at Fenway Park. They would have been much better off walking over the Mass. Ave. bridge, but they probably didn't know their way around the city.

At Kendall Square, they couldn't make up their minds whether outbound service was on the outbound or the inbound platform. They moved us back and forth at least three times! Meanwhile lots of people were still milling around outside, on both sides of Main Street, expecting shuttle buses.

Finally around 4:15, an outbound train arrived on the outbound platform, picked up passengers, and proceeded normally to Alewife making all local stops.
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Postby efin98 » Mon Sep 13, 2004 1:45 pm

Ron Newman wrote:I don't understand why they didn't just take the train out of service and run it express to Alewife (or Cabot Yard, or Ashmont or Braintree, depending on which way it was heading). That would only have caused about 10 minutes of disruption and then everyone could have gotten back to normal while they inspected the train at a yard.


The nearest HAZMAT unit is in Boston a few blocks from the incident and not at Alewife or Braintree(125 Purchase Street to be exact, less than five minutes away)they could isolate the train and have the widest are open area for whatever irratant was used to spread out and disperse which would lessen its effect. That train was not going to move until the fire department gave the all clear to it and the preliminary investigation had been done. Only then would it move to Cabot where it could be investigated throroughly.
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Postby Ron Newman » Mon Sep 13, 2004 2:10 pm

If they wanted the 'irritant" to "disperse" shouldn't they have just taken the train to Cabot and opened all the doors in the open air?
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Mon Sep 13, 2004 2:55 pm

Yeah I agree with you Ron, they should take it to Cabot Central Yard, and have the doors open wide, as long as it doesn't rain though :-)
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Postby efin98 » Mon Sep 13, 2004 4:28 pm

Ron Newman wrote:If they wanted the 'irritant" to "disperse" shouldn't they have just taken the train to Cabot and opened all the doors in the open air?


No, getting as much of the work done at Park Street prevents recontamination and the possible spreading of the irritant to the Orange and Green Lines and to the commuter rail terminal. The train would go to the yard to get the residue out of the cars and the investigation would be done in the yard but getting the train secure and preventing the irritant from spreading has to be done at Park Street.
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