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.
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.
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.