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Please scroll down for updates, last one was at 8:09 PM

5:19 PM: In an alert sent to media at 5:17 this afternoon, the SF MTA reports that regular Muni Metro service has been disrupted since 4:39 this afternoon due to “an emergency” at Castro station. No details on the “emergency” were provided.

Shuttle buses are carrying passengers between West Portal and Embarcadero, they say. This sounds awful! Riders, how is it?

5:28 PM: Folks on twitter seem to be (quite understandably) losing their collective shit, with folks reporting being trapped on Muni Metro trains for 40 or more minutes.

Others are reporting that the promised shuttle buses have yet to arrive.

Still others are reporting that the “emergency” was a pedestrian fatality at the Castro station. We’ve called SFPD and SFFD to see if they have any additional details.

5:32 PM: Appeal contrib Matt Baume sends in the above photo of the Medical Examiner’s van arriving at the Castro Station, which seems to confirm some of the reports that there was, indeed, a serious injury or death at the station.

SFPD spokesperson Officer Samson Chan is looking into the incident for us, we’ll keep you posted.

5:43 PM: SFFD Spokesperson Lt. Mindy Talmadge confirms to the Appeal that the fire department was called to Castro Station at 4:40 this afternoon, after a pedestrian on the tracks was apparently hit by a Muni train.

“We’re not sure how he got on the tracks” Talmadge said “we attempted to revive him and when it was evident that he had expired, we called the Medical Examiner.” (Since commenter Xenu seems confused by Talmadge’s remarks, I will clarify and say that I believe that Talmadge was trying to make clear that it is not yet known if the victim was on the tracks intentionally not, to imply that, in his words “there’s a fence to climb over or or a padlock to break.”)

Talmadge did not have any additional details at this time, but you know you can count on us to keep you updated.

5:52 PM: The SF MTA sends this cryptic notice “The emergency is medical in nature. SFPD and medics are on the scene.” We will quell the urge to say something irritable at what is a tragic time, and just tell you that they remind us that shuttle buses are still in place.

Reader Scott confirms this, sending us this picture of SFPD, indeed, on the scene and telling us that traffic on Market is traveling very slowly.

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6:11 PM: SFPD spokesperson Officer Samson Chan got back to us with what SFPD knows so far: he says that SFPD was called to an accident on the 2400 block of Market (that’s Castro Station) at 4:48 this afternoon.

They arrived to discover an adult male who had been struck by an inbound (that’s heading downtown) Muni light rail vehicle, who was pronounced dead at the scene. He has not been identified.

The Medical Examiner remains on the scene, as well, and by all reports, Muni service continues to be disrupted.

Chan, like the SFFD’s spokesperson, did not have any details on how the man ended up on the tracks.

6:24 PM: CBS5 has some rawish video (audio is fucked up) from the scene at Castro Station. The SFPD officer they speak to doesn’t have any additional details, but you can see, through the station bars, some of the accident scene and the ongoing investigation.

6:35 PM: 511 confirms that Muni Metro service remains disrupted, and that shuttle buses remain in its place.

People on Twitter continue to express frustration regarding delays, packed shuttles, or buses that simply refuse to pick people up.

6:51 PM: SFPD spokesperson Officer Samson Chan just called us with more details — he clarifies, in case you were wondering, that the victim was on the tracks next to the platform, not in the tunnel as some media reports (not ours!) have suggested.

I asked him, flat out, if he was suggesting that the victim put himself on the tracks intentionally, perhaps in an attempt to injure himself. (I know, that is an awful thing to ask but this is my job.)

Chan refused to speculate (good for him), but when I asked if there was surveillance video of the platform that might shed light on that question, he confirmed that that video was currently being reviewed.

According to KCBS, there were few witnesses to the incident, and that “no one has come forward to say that they saw anyone jump, fall or be pushed.” We were not able to confirm those details with Chan.

7:07 PM: The SFMTA has issues another alert that pretty much confirms what we already know: they say that an inbound LRV his a pedestrian, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The MTA also confirms that Muni Metro subway service (and, therefore, the light rail trains) will not restart until SFPD clears the scene. As we’ve noted, shuttle buses are in place, and Muni apologizes for delays and says that “Due to the rush hour, Muni customers should plan extra travel time” but that they’re “working to put as many bus shuttles in place as possible.”

7:47 PM: According the the Chron, a SFPD officer said “There doesn’t appear to be criminal activity,” after a brief look at the Muni surveillance video of the incident.

I suspect from the way Chron reporters are phrasing this that they are trying to imply that the victim, who has not been identified, placed himself in front of the train intentionally. Typically, media outlets are discouraged from prominently reporting on suicides, as studies suggest that such reporting can cause in increases in those types of incidents. It’s important to remember that there are resources there for you if you’re in trouble: San Francisco Suicide Prevention is available 24-hours a day at 415-751-0500.

8:09 PM: The SF MTA has announced that, as of 7:46 p.m., normal Muni Metro service has resumed. Shuttle buses are going to stay in place until everything’s back to normal, and you should still expect crowded conditions and delays.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Greg Dewar

    so sad. I remember a few years ago I entered Church St. station and was wondering what was up and then someone came up to me and told me someone had jumped in front of the train. it was not a pleasant sight.

    while the shuttle buses are a pain and being stuck downtown truly sucks, this is a tragic situation so folks should keep that in mind.

  • Greg Dewar

    so sad. I remember a few years ago I entered Church St. station and was wondering what was up and then someone came up to me and told me someone had jumped in front of the train. it was not a pleasant sight.

    while the shuttle buses are a pain and being stuck downtown truly sucks, this is a tragic situation so folks should keep that in mind.

  • Xenu

    “We’re not sure how he got on the tracks” Talmadge said…

    Um, it’s not like there’s a fence to climb over or or a padlock to break.

  • Xenu

    “We’re not sure how he got on the tracks” Talmadge said…

    Um, it’s not like there’s a fence to climb over or or a padlock to break.

  • jchinn84

    I’d suggest not bothering with the shuttles and try to get a home another way if you know the bus routes around the area.

  • jchinn84

    I’d suggest not bothering with the shuttles and try to get a home another way if you know the bus routes around the area.

  • dcp123

    Pardon me for asking the obvious, but if the body is on the inbound track, why – other than the feeling of self-importance police officers seem to get from tying up traffic and wasting other people’s time – have they stopped outbound trains during the evening rush? If you wanted to spare people the sight of what happened you could have the outbound trains go through the Castro station without stopping.

    I think I answered my own question. Too many in government seem to think that if half the city is delayed because of what you’re doing at work, you must have a very important job.

    Hell, I’ll be one step more brutal. This guy probably got on the tracks the same way that 95% of people hit in a BART or Muni station or almost any other rail transit station do, he jumped in front of a train as a profoundly gruesome and inconsiderate way of killing himself. The investigation should have taken about 5 minutes to review the tape and, if nobody pushed the guy, you remove the body, hose off the train and the tracks and resume normal service.

    I was on a BART train once when a woman jumped in front of the train. The driver was clearly deeply traumatized, thousands of people lost valuable time from their lives and the selfish idiot who caused the trouble wasn’t even smart enough to get herself killed, just badly injured. Sorry. I have no sympathy for somebody who calculates his or her suicide – or attempt – to harm as many other people as possible.

  • dcp123

    Pardon me for asking the obvious, but if the body is on the inbound track, why – other than the feeling of self-importance police officers seem to get from tying up traffic and wasting other people’s time – have they stopped outbound trains during the evening rush? If you wanted to spare people the sight of what happened you could have the outbound trains go through the Castro station without stopping.

    I think I answered my own question. Too many in government seem to think that if half the city is delayed because of what you’re doing at work, you must have a very important job.

    Hell, I’ll be one step more brutal. This guy probably got on the tracks the same way that 95% of people hit in a BART or Muni station or almost any other rail transit station do, he jumped in front of a train as a profoundly gruesome and inconsiderate way of killing himself. The investigation should have taken about 5 minutes to review the tape and, if nobody pushed the guy, you remove the body, hose off the train and the tracks and resume normal service.

    I was on a BART train once when a woman jumped in front of the train. The driver was clearly deeply traumatized, thousands of people lost valuable time from their lives and the selfish idiot who caused the trouble wasn’t even smart enough to get herself killed, just badly injured. Sorry. I have no sympathy for somebody who calculates his or her suicide – or attempt – to harm as many other people as possible.

  • Erik

    Doesn’t Castro Station have both lines in the middle with platforms on the outside? There is no way Muni or SFPD or anyone is going to be allowed to be standing on one set of tracks while trains are going by on the other, and the crime scene could easily cover both lines. Also, inbound and outbound trains are the same; if you stop the inbound trains you will shortly run out of outbound trains.

  • Erik

    Doesn’t Castro Station have both lines in the middle with platforms on the outside? There is no way Muni or SFPD or anyone is going to be allowed to be standing on one set of tracks while trains are going by on the other, and the crime scene could easily cover both lines. Also, inbound and outbound trains are the same; if you stop the inbound trains you will shortly run out of outbound trains.

  • Greg Dewar

    First off, thanks to the SF Appeal for keeping this updated, both here and on Twitter, in a timely manner. This was a tremendous help to everyone wondering what was up.

    Second, is there any new information as to what exactly happened in terms of was this a suicide , or was it something else? I’ve seen more than one “death by train” incident in the tunnels, and it’s a horrible thing to see.

    That said, while Muni is dying the death of 1000 blows, I don’t see how they can prevent this kind of behavior (suicide by train). we can’t “suicide proof” the world – if that were the case we’d have no knives and no drugs and no food and no…well you get the idea.

    Either way, at the end of the day someone died and that sucks. And a lot of people were inconvenienced and that sucks too. I

  • Greg Dewar

    First off, thanks to the SF Appeal for keeping this updated, both here and on Twitter, in a timely manner. This was a tremendous help to everyone wondering what was up.

    Second, is there any new information as to what exactly happened in terms of was this a suicide , or was it something else? I’ve seen more than one “death by train” incident in the tunnels, and it’s a horrible thing to see.

    That said, while Muni is dying the death of 1000 blows, I don’t see how they can prevent this kind of behavior (suicide by train). we can’t “suicide proof” the world – if that were the case we’d have no knives and no drugs and no food and no…well you get the idea.

    Either way, at the end of the day someone died and that sucks. And a lot of people were inconvenienced and that sucks too. I

  • Mike

    Every time there is an incident like this, someone will comment on how selfish the person committing suicide is. If someone is in such a state of despair or mental illness that suicide seems like a good option, can you really expect that they will consider the impact on the rest of the public?

    It sucks to those of us who are delayed, but there is little that can be done. I’ve been delayed countless times on Caltrain. The determination of suicide, accident or murder has a big impact on potential litigation, insurance policies and other things, so it has to be done carefully.

    Hell, you can walk between Castro and downtown in less than an hour if you don’t dilly dally. That’s what I would have done. The exercise wouldn’t hurt.

  • Mike

    Every time there is an incident like this, someone will comment on how selfish the person committing suicide is. If someone is in such a state of despair or mental illness that suicide seems like a good option, can you really expect that they will consider the impact on the rest of the public?

    It sucks to those of us who are delayed, but there is little that can be done. I’ve been delayed countless times on Caltrain. The determination of suicide, accident or murder has a big impact on potential litigation, insurance policies and other things, so it has to be done carefully.

    Hell, you can walk between Castro and downtown in less than an hour if you don’t dilly dally. That’s what I would have done. The exercise wouldn’t hurt.

  • renegade

    Perhaps the person who committed suicide is aware of the media’s stance on not covering suicides and decided to perform a grandiose and obstructive exit. Perhaps this person was influenced by Wednesday’s Muni incident in which a man died 45 minutes after being hit. That wasn’t a suicide so it got a helluva lotta press coverage.

    So is it the press that’s influencing more visible suicides? It’s really hard to diss thousands of people being inconvenienced and stranded without acknowledging that somebody left the planet on their own accord. The suicide a couple months ago at Powell/Market was initially only covered by the Examiner, but the sidebar to that story was how people influenced the person to jump, and there was significant traffic disruption. How can the press ignore the sidebar and disruption?

    Media cannot be concerned about spawning copycats because media is inadvertently encouraging more exhibitionist suicides. Thursday the deceased had the press in a stranglehold, posthumously.

  • renegade

    Perhaps the person who committed suicide is aware of the media’s stance on not covering suicides and decided to perform a grandiose and obstructive exit. Perhaps this person was influenced by Wednesday’s Muni incident in which a man died 45 minutes after being hit. That wasn’t a suicide so it got a helluva lotta press coverage.

    So is it the press that’s influencing more visible suicides? It’s really hard to diss thousands of people being inconvenienced and stranded without acknowledging that somebody left the planet on their own accord. The suicide a couple months ago at Powell/Market was initially only covered by the Examiner, but the sidebar to that story was how people influenced the person to jump, and there was significant traffic disruption. How can the press ignore the sidebar and disruption?

    Media cannot be concerned about spawning copycats because media is inadvertently encouraging more exhibitionist suicides. Thursday the deceased had the press in a stranglehold, posthumously.

  • bloomsm

    On a train from Amsterdam to Dusseldorf, we stopped unexpectedly near Arnhem (think of the film “A Bridge too Far”–that’s Arnhem). When I inquired about the delay, the conductor advised that someone had stepped in front of the train, a likely suicide. “Stepping in front of the train is the most common way to commit suicide in Holland”, he said. “Why” I asked. “Not enough tall buildings,” he replied.

  • bloomsm

    On a train from Amsterdam to Dusseldorf, we stopped unexpectedly near Arnhem (think of the film “A Bridge too Far”–that’s Arnhem). When I inquired about the delay, the conductor advised that someone had stepped in front of the train, a likely suicide. “Stepping in front of the train is the most common way to commit suicide in Holland”, he said. “Why” I asked. “Not enough tall buildings,” he replied.

  • maria m.

    >..”selfish idiot who caused the trouble wasn’t even smart enough to get herself killed, just badly injured. Sorry. I have no sympathy for somebody who calculates his or her suicide – or attempt – to harm as many other people as possible.”

  • maria m.

    >..”selfish idiot who caused the trouble wasn’t even smart enough to get herself killed, just badly injured. Sorry. I have no sympathy for somebody who calculates his or her suicide – or attempt – to harm as many other people as possible.”