severed_arm.jpgYesterday, we followed up on a Muni Diaries report of a woman (nicknamed “arm lady” by the funny-as-hell “SF Muni” twitter account) who got, their correspondent said, her got her her left arm and elbow stuck in the door of a Muni train on Tuesday morning.

How can this happen? We asked both you readers and the SF MTA. You guys thoughtfully responded and, last night, so did the MTA. (A commenter who says she was the victim also responded, we’re working to confirm it was her now but haven’t yet been able to do so.)

An unnamed MTA spokesperson (I think it was Kristen Holland but the response to my email was unsigned) tells us that the incident in question did indeed occur, on a T-Third traveling inbound at Church Street Station.

According to Muni, “The woman was injured when her arm was accidentally caught between the back edge of the door and the body of the vehicle.”

Muni says that a “Station Agent was on the platform and came to her aid” and that after she was extracted, the train was “evacuated so that it could travel out of service to a safe place for a street inspector to ensure that the doors were not malfunctioning. Our operations staff did not want to keep the train and the customers at the station in order to conduct the inspection.”

Which explains why, in the Muni Diaries report, their correspondent says “They made us get off. (As in, empty out the entire two car train)…And then waited for two more trains before getting on.”

Contrary to what any of us who’ve heard our Muni driver announce “the train won’t move until the doors close, and the doors won’t close if anything is in the way,” the Muni spokesperson tells us that “Muni light rail vehicle (LRV) doors are not like elevator doors.” (Emphasis mine, because I totally thought they were!)

“Customers should stand back from the doors especially when the doors are moving, and never stick their hands or arms in to stop a closing door” which I have totally done, ulp.

They also not that “the LRV doors can be damaged when they are forced open” which is one of the reasons they’ll be spending 15 million stimulus bucks to work on all our LRV’s doors and stairs.

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

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