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Metro train, bus collide downtown

Fifteen people on Blue Line train have minor injuries. There were no passengers on the bus.

September 20, 2008|Francisco Vara-Orta | Times Staff Writer
  • A Metro Blue Line train collided with a Metro bus in downtown Los Angeles this morning, injuring 13 people.
A Metro Blue Line train collided with a Metro bus in downtown Los Angeles… (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles…)

A Metro Blue Line train collided Friday morning with a Metro bus in downtown Los Angeles, causing minor injuries to 15 people, authorities said.

The collision, which occurred near Washington Boulevard and Griffith Avenue, was reported about 6:15 a.m. as the Blue Line train was traveling south to Long Beach, said Officer Ana Aguirre of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Paramedics took 15 people with "just bumps and bruises" to area hospitals, said d'Lisa Davies, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. Officials initially reported that seven to 13 people were hurt.

All of the injured were on the Blue Line train, including the operator, said Brian Humphrey, another Fire Department spokesman. There were no passengers on the bus.

The collision caused the three-car train to derail, but it remained upright, Humphrey said. Authorities were trying to determine why the crash occurred, said Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Marc Littman.

Full service on the Blue Line was restored at 9:15 a.m. Riders experienced 20-minute delays while the track was being cleared, said Jose Upaldo, another MTA spokesman.

The Blue Line travels from downtown Los Angeles to downtown Long Beach, serving many South L.A. areas as well as Compton.

As the longest line in the Metro system and the second-busiest light-rail line in the United States, it averages more than 70,000 weekday boardings, according to Metro Rail.

Since the Blue Line debuted in 1990, the rail service has tallied 90 fatalities, 20 of them suicides, said Rick Jager, another MTA spokesman.

Of the total fatalities, 64 involved the train and pedestrians, and 26 the train and vehicles, officials said.

No one on board a Metro Rail train has died in an accident, and a collision between two trains has never occurred, Jager said.

A total of 821 accidents and nonfatal collisions have occurred since July 1990, and 652 involved a train colliding with a vehicle, such as Friday's collision, Jager said. The others involved 169 pedestrians.

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francisco.varaorta@latimes.com

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Times staff writer Steve Hymon contributed to this report.

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