Feds identify door control fault in deadly Red Line tragedy

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Federal investigators have identified a broken door control as the possible cause in the deadly accident on the Red Line that trapped a man in a door and him to his death last month.

The National Transportation Safety Board in a preliminary report released this morning said investigators had identified “a fault in a local door control system that enabled the train to move with the door obstructed.”

Killed in the April 10  tragedy was Robinson Lalin, 39, of Boston, who became trapped when an inbound Red Line train’s door closed on his arm and dragged him into the Broadway station tunnel.

The NTSB’s preliminary report on the tragedy said Lalin’s right arm was trapped as he was exiting a side door on the train. Monday’s report revealed that Lalin was dragged 105 feet to his death.

Lalin leaves behind two children.

His family told the Herald previously that witnesses had reached out to them to tell them that bystanders tried frantically to free him from the door clamped on his arm.

According to the NTSB, the MBTA has conducted a search throughout its fleet to determine whether or not the door fault identified in Lalin’s death was present in other trains.

“The MBTA reported that no other similar faults were found during the inspection,” the NTSB said in its report.

While in Boston, federal investigators examined and tested train equipment, reviewed security footage, observed MBTA train operations, conducted interviews, and performed sight distance observations, according to the report.

The NTSB investigation remains open. The federal agency will continue its probe into the T’s equipment and operating procedures before issuing its final report.

There have been other safety issues with the MBTA in the past year. Nine people were injured in September when an escalator at the Back Bay Station malfunctioned, and more than two dozen went to the hospital last July when a Green Line train rear-ended another trolley.

— Herald wire services contributed


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