The state is launching an investigation into recent incidents in Muni, including a woman who was dragged under Muni's train


Rail safety authorities announced Friday that they have opened an investigation into recent incidents with the new Muni fleet, focusing on both the hitch system crash and the accident. involving an elderly woman who has stuck her fingers in a doorway the train is distant.

The State Public Utilities Commission, charged with certifying that transit systems are safe, has already watched the video of the accident that occurred Friday at Embarcadero Station and should inspect the system. hitch new cars Muni next week. Last week, Muni discovered two separate failures of so-called shear pins, the steel rods that couple trains and that are designed to break the collision shock on coupled cars.

"We are aware and we are investigating what happened and why," said Constance Gordon, spokesperson for the commission. "We are looking at both the door issues and the coupling pin problem of the new SFMTA cars."

The accident involving the door was filmed by Muni's own video, obtained for the first time by the SF examiner. He shows an elderly Asian woman approaching the train and using her hand to try to open the door.

Moments after the woman gets caught, the video shows a stationmaster who signals him to get away from the train.

The station master then begins to warn others to move away from the train, turning their backs on the woman, who has been hospitalized for serious injuries.

Acting Transit Director for Muni, Julie Kirschbaum, said Thursday at NBC Bay Area that she was "deeply concerned" by the fact that the operator apparently did not spot the woman and immobilized the train until it can be released.

"We see this as a deep concern," she said.

The incident is one of two documented cases of people getting their fingers caught in Muni's gates. The other incident occurred in December.

Kirschbaum pointed out that, although state regulators have judged the doors of the new fleet to be safe, it is planned to provide all trains with additional sensors to make them safer.

Currently, most new cars only have sensors on the right side, while older cars in the system have sensors on the left side of the door.

The new cars, manufactured by Siemens, also do not have mirrors, which means that operators must rely solely on video cameras to ensure that no one is stuck in the door.

Kirschbaum said the agency was also continuing research on why two shear pins broke in new trains. The pins are described as safety devices for distributing the force of accidents when two or more train cars are connected.

The discovery of the first failure occurred Thursday afternoon in a two-car train on the N-Judah line after the end of its daily service.

The driver reportedly heard a thud and the train diagnostics indicated that he had detected a problem.

This triggered inspections that uncovered a second broken spindle on a decoupled car at a Muni shipyard.

All spare pins were sent for metallurgical and chemical analyzes, she said, adding that the cause of the failures was still unclear. Meanwhile, the new cars only work in the train of individual cars on the N-Judah line.

The cause of the failures is confusing, she says.

"We have a system that has a lot of tight corners and difficult terrain," said Kirschbaum, "but the vehicle was designed specifically for our system, so it's something we need to better understand and then we'll fix it and continue. " "

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