Candlelight Vigils Planned For Victims Of Fatal BART Collision

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in the Bay Area today to investigate a BART train accident that killed two workers on Saturday afternoon.

The incident occurred about two days into a strike by BART’s two biggest unions, shortly before 2 p.m. around one mile north of the Walnut Creek station.

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The two men—a BART employee and a contractor—were inspecting a reported dip in the tracks on the Pittsburg-Bay Point line, when they were struck by an out-of-service train that was being moved to Concord, according to BART assistant general manager Paul Oversier.

The two victims, whose names had not been released as of Sunday morning, were declared dead at the scene.
BART officials issued a statement on Saturday saying that an experienced operator was at the controls of the train but that it was operating under computer control.

There were six people on board the train at the time of the accident, none of whom were injured.

BART General Manager Grace Crunican said it was “a tragic day in BART’s history.”

“The entire BART family is grieving,” Crunican said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our deceased co-workers.”

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 said on its official Twitter account in response to the deaths that it will not picket today “out of respect for the families involved.”

“This is a terrible human tragedy and we mourn the passing of these two individuals,” ATU Local 1555 president Antonette Bryant said in a statement. “We pray for the families of those who lost their lives.”

Two candlelight vigils were being planned for the victims Sunday evening, union officials said.

One was scheduled to take place at the Walnut Creek BART Station, and a second at Lake Merritt Plaza in Oakland. Both were scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

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