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Railroad Accidents

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 1999 | DOUGLAS P. SHUIT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Los Angeles' Metro Blue Line trains had more accidents involving pedestrians last year than any other light rail system in the state, the Public Utilities Commission reported Thursday.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2013 | Maura Dolan and Samantha Schaefer and Paul Pringle
Federal authorities launched an inquiry Sunday into the deaths of two Bay Area Rapid Transit workers who were struck by a train in the midst of a tense labor walkout that has disrupted travel for hundreds of thousands of commuters. Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board will try to determine what went wrong on the BART line in Walnut Creek where the two workers were hit Saturday afternoon as they inspected the track for defects, officials said. The deaths brought heartbreak to the labor dispute that had simmered for several months before triggering the strike Friday by a pair of unions.
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NEWS
February 22, 1988
A rash of railroad accidents last month should show Congress that serious problems remain in the industry since the worst wreck in Amtrak history 14 months ago, Federal Railroad Administrator John Riley said. Equally troubling, he said, is that the federal government has less power to curtail railroad accidents now than it did when three Conrail locomotives slid through a warning signal and collided with an Amtrak passenger train near Chase, Md., in January, 1987. Sixteen people were killed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 15, 2009 | Susannah Rosenblatt
A Union Pacific train carrying industrial materials derailed early Saturday morning, spilling two carloads of soda ash, officials said. There were no injuries, and the ash was not hazardous, they said. Eight cars in the middle of an 80-car train ran off the track in a residential area just north of West Rialto Avenue about 1:30 a.m., Union Pacific spokeswoman Zoe Richmond said. The cause of the crash was under investigation. The ash is used in detergent. The train was also carrying cement, Richmond said.
NEWS
October 17, 1999 | TOM GORMAN and MITCHELL LANDSBERG, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the Mojave Desert northwest of Twentynine Palms early Saturday, knocking an Amtrak passenger train off its tracks and damaging two highway bridges, but otherwise causing remarkably little harm and no deaths. Four people on Amtrak's Southwest Chief from Chicago to Los Angeles were injured, none seriously, when the temblor--the fourth strongest in Southern California this century--rocked the region at 2:46 a.m.
NEWS
May 26, 1987 | Associated Press
The man who conducted drug tests on railroad and airline employees involved in accidents nationwide pleaded guilty today to three counts of providing false test results to federal officials. Dr. Delbert Lacefield appeared before U.S. District Judge Lee West to plead guilty to three counts that carry a total maximum punishment of 15 years in prison and $30,000 in fines, U.S. Atty. Bill Price said. Lacefield was released on a $5,000 recognizance bond. A sentencing date has not been set.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 11, 1990 | LOUIS SAHAGUN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Southern Pacific Transportation Co. officials, quoting results of a preliminary investigation, Monday blamed company workers for failing to properly couple 14 freight cars that rolled from a City of Industry switching yard and smashed into three locomotives stopped eight miles away in Pico Rivera.
NEWS
March 22, 1996 | GEBE MARTINEZ
Were the consequences not so deadly, the rash of railroad accidents this year might have served as just another example of bureaucratic inertia. But the congressional inquiry into the crashes, including one in the Cajon Pass in the Inland Empire, provided for one Southern California congressman an embarrassing display of finger-pointing and a case study of how government delay can result in death. "I am convinced the [Cajon Pass] accident could have been prevented," said Rep. Jay C.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 2005 | Dan Weikel and Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writers
Since the commuter rail system opened in 1992, 15 passengers have died on Metrolink trains in three separate accidents -- all of them involving trains being pushed from behind by a locomotive instead of being pulled. Nationally, at least half a dozen horrific accidents, killing 38 passengers and injuring almost 1,000, have occurred in the last decade involving trains being pushed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2003 | Dan Weikel and Kimi Yoshino, Times Staff Writers
Two workers inspecting railroad tracks for Metrolink were struck and killed by a fast-moving Amtrak train Tuesday in Laguna Niguel. Adam Underwood, 40, of Fountain Valley, and Antonio Almanza, 61, of Los Angeles, died instantly, authorities said. The deaths of the two men, part of a five-member contract crew checking clips and pins in the track, are believed to be the first time a Metrolink employee or contractor has been killed in a train accident, leaving officials wondering what went wrong."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 24, 2008 | Rich Connell, Connell is a Times staff writer.
Faced with potentially staggering wrongful death and injury claims in the wake of last month's Chatsworth train crash, the Metrolink board today is scheduled to discuss a lawsuit the commuter rail line has filed against the company that provides its engineers. The engineer of the Metrolink train that collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train, killing 25 people, is suspected of sending and receiving cellphone text messages seconds before the accident.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 2008 | Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Times Staff Writer
At 11:30 on the morning of Sept. 19, some 60 engineers and conductors gathered at a modest La Crescenta house. They had come to memorialize Robert Sanchez, the engineer killed a week earlier when the Metrolink train he was driving collided with a Union Pacific freight train.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 2008 | Joe Mozingo, Times Staff Writer
Coasting out of Chatsworth at 4:22 p.m., Doyle Souser had caught an early train home from work to cook his family a nice tri-tip for dinner. Charles Peck had just wrapped up an interview for a job he hoped would land him in Southern California so he could marry his fiancee. Aida Magdaleno, a farmworker's daughter studying at Cal State Northridge, was on her way home to attend her nephew's baptism. They didn't know one another.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2008 | Hector Becerra, Times Staff Writer
For more than 13 hours, Pastor Tony Amatangelo had prayed and watched over his friend and fellow minister as he lay in a county hospital after being pulled from the wreckage of Metrolink 111. Paul Long died, and four hours later, physically and emotionally spent, Amatangelo returned to his Moorpark home. Sunday service was coming. What would he say? The pastor felt chances were slim that the sermon he had written for the service would be relevant after the crash. Then he remembered.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 18, 2008 | Anna Gorman, Times Staff Writer
Still in a daze from the crash, Donald Ashman walked over to the first body. Ashman knelt down and lifted a corner of a white blanket covering the body, placed his hand on the man's forehead and said the words he had said so many times before, almost always at a hospital: "May God Almighty have mercy upon thee, forgive thee thy sins and bring thee to everlasting life." The prayer took just a few seconds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2008 | Ann M. Simmons, Times Staff Writer
After nearly eight weeks of testimony, a jury Tuesday started deliberating the fate of a Compton man who left his vehicle on railroad tracks and caused a deadly Metrolink wreck three years ago. Juan Manuel Alvarez, 29, is charged with 11 counts of murder and one count each of arson and train-wrecking. He could face the death penalty if convicted. "Don't forget these 11 victims," Deputy Dist. Atty. Cathryn Brougham told the jury as she concluded her closing arguments Tuesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 2008 | Joe Mozingo, Times Staff Writer
Coasting out of Chatsworth at 4:22 p.m., Doyle Souser had caught an early train home from work to cook his family a nice tri-tip for dinner. Charles Peck had just wrapped up an interview for a job he hoped would land him in Southern California so he could marry his fiancee. Aida Magdaleno, a farmworker's daughter studying at Cal State Northridge, was on her way home to attend her nephew's baptism. They didn't know one another.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2005 | Christine Hanley and Jia-Rui Chong, Times Staff Writers
The phone rang at 6:45 a.m. at Bob Parent's home in Simi Valley. "Your brother's been injured in a train accident and he's on his way to the hospital," the man on the other end told him. The stranger said William Parent had given him the number to call. They were both passengers on a Metrolink commuter train that had just crashed in Glendale. "Is his condition critical?" Bob Parent immediately asked.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 2008 | Ann M. Simmons, Times Staff Writer
Juan Manuel Alvarez exhibited bizarre and delusional behavior for at least five years before causing a deadly Metrolink crash three years ago, his wife testified Tuesday. Carmelita Alvarez said her husband -- who is on trial for murder -- was extremely possessive of her and often accused her of having affairs, even with her own nephew. He also tried to kill himself three times, she said during two days of testimony that began Monday. "I had to be in the middle of the bed facing him.
WORLD
April 11, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A gust of wind blew a baby carriage off a platform and onto the tracks in Moehlin, Switzerland, where it was run over by a train -- leaving the 6-month-old inside with little more than a bump, police officials said. "Luckily it had fallen between the rails," said officer Bernhard Graser. The train made an emergency stop, and rescuers found the crying child beneath the train, virtually unharmed. The mother was treated for shock at a hospital Wednesday. "There wasn't much left of the buggy," Graser said.
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