Door control system failed in Red Line death of Boston man

The National Transportation Safety Board says a door control system on a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Red Line train failed to work properly in connection with the death of a Boston man, according to a preliminary report.Robinson Lalin, 39, of Boston, died on April 10 when he got his arm stuck in the doorway of an inbound Red Line train at the Broadway platform around 12:30 am and was dragged, suffering fatal injuries.According to the NTSB’s preliminary report, Lalin attempted to exit the six-car train through the side passenger door of the railcar as the train doors were closing and his right arm became trapped in the doorway. The train then departed the station, dragging Lalin along the platform approximately 105 feet and onto the surface below, near the tracks. The preliminary report states that after examination and testing of the Red Line train involved, NTSB investigators were able to identify a fault in a local door control system that enabled the train to move with the doorway obstructed. the MBTA said its own investigators determined that Lalin boarded a northbound Red Line train at Fields Corner Station after midnight. According to the MBTA, the NTSB confirmed its initial assessment of a short circuit in the train car’s wiring that allowed the train to begin moving while Lalin was attempting to exit through the closing doors.”The MBTA acknowledges the release of the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report and expresses its appreciation for the NTSB’s diligent work on the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Robinson Lalin on April 10th at Broadway Station,” the MBTA’s statement said. “The MBTA would once again like to extend its deepest condolences to the Lalin family regarding this heartbreaking incident.”The MBTA and NTSB both stated that the local transit authority immediately began an inspection of the Red Line fleet to look for the specific door control system fault in other trains. The MBTA said no other similar circuitry faults were found in any of the other Red Line cars of the same make and model during rigorous testing. In addition to regularly-scheduled preventative maintenance, the MBTA said its personnel is supplementing existing door inspection protocols with additional testing to prevent this issue from happening again. The NTSB said its investigation remains ongoing and that while investigators were at the scene, they examined and tested the training equipment, reviewed security footage, observed MBTA train operations, conducted interviews and performed sight distance observations.Future activity in the NTSB’s investigation will focus on the MBTA’s passenger strain equipment and operating procedures, according to the agency. The team at 5 Investigates has learned the operator of the Red Line train involved in Lalin’s death remains out of service as the investigation continues. Sources previously told 5 Investigates that the train operator is a Boston woman who has been working for the MBTA since 2018.MBTA train operators are responsible for looking out the window, checking a monitor and looking into a large mirror to check the doors are clear before leaving the station.

The National Transportation Safety Board says a door control system on a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Red Line train failed to work properly in connection with the death of a Boston man, according to a preliminary report.

Robinson Lalin, 39, of Boston, died on April 10 when he got his arm stuck in the doorway of an inbound Red Line train at the Broadway platform around 12:30 am and was dragged, suffering fatal injuries.

According to the NTSB’s preliminary report, Lalin attempted to exit the six-car train through the side passenger door of the railcar as the train doors were closing and his right arm became trapped in the doorway. The train then departed the station, dragging Lalin along the platform approximately 105 feet and onto the surface below, near the tracks.

The NTSB said MBTA trains are designed and equipped with safety features to prevent them from moving when the passenger doors are obstructed. The preliminary report states that after examination and testing of the Red Line train involved, NTSB investigators were able to identify a fault in a local door control system that enabled the train to move with the doorway obstructed.

In a statement on the NTSB’s preliminary report, the MBTA said its own investigators determined that Lalin boarded a northbound Red Line train at Fields Corner Station after midnight. According to the MBTA, the NTSB confirmed its initial assessment of a short circuit in the train car’s wiring that allowed the train to begin moving while Lalin was attempting to exit through the closing doors.

“The MBTA acknowledges the release of the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report and expresses its appreciation for the NTSB’s diligent work on the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Robinson Lalin on April 10th at Broadway Station,” the MBTA’s statement said. “The MBTA would once again like to extend its deepest condolences to the Lalin family regarding this heartbreaking incident.”

The MBTA and NTSB both stated that the local transit authority immediately began an inspection of the Red Line fleet to look for the specific door control system fault in other trains. The MBTA said no other similar circuitry faults were found in any of the other Red Line cars of the same make and model during rigorous testing.

In addition to regularly-scheduled preventative maintenance, the MBTA said its personnel is supplementing existing door inspection protocols with additional testing to prevent this issue from happening again.

The NTSB said its investigation remains ongoing and that while investigators were at the scene, they examined and tested the training equipment, reviewed security footage, observed MBTA train operations, conducted interviews and performed sight distance observations.

Future activity in the NTSB’s investigation will focus on the MBTA’s passenger strain equipment and operating procedures, according to the agency.

The team at 5 Investigates has learned the operator of the Red Line train involved in Lalin’s death remains out of service as the investigation continues. Sources previously told 5 Investigates that the train operator is a Boston woman who has been working for the MBTA since 2018.

MBTA train operators are responsible for looking out the window, checking a monitor and looking into a large mirror to check the doors are clear before departing the station.

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