Heat behind partial train derailment in Concord, probe on


At least 50-odd passengers on board a Bay Area Rapid Transport train on the yellow line service escaped unhurt after a partial derailment in the city of Concord, California, Tuesday, June 21 evening.

The SFBART Twitter account posted about the incident shortly after 5.30 pm on Tuesday evening, “a major delay on the Antioch line in the Antioch and SFO directions due to an equipment problem on a train.”

There were approximately 50 passengers on the train when it derailed and all of them were evacuated, with a few of the passengers reporting minor injuries. The exact count of passengers injured could not be verified.

Some of the passengers told local newspersons, they experienced shaking and were tossed from the seats.

“The train lurched suddenly, it shook violently for a while before slowing down and coming to a halt, Rennie Davis, a passenger told ABC7. “The conductor walked through the car and informed all of us that the last car had derailed.”

The train staff cut a hole in the fence to bring out the passengers. A BART information officer, however, added later, two cars had derailed, the cause of which is being probed.

As of now the Yellow Line service between Pleasant Hill and Concord stations are suspended in both Antioch and SFO directions. The bus lines 11 and 14 which connect the two stations will accept BART tickets as fare till the track is restored.

Fire officials of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District said, those injured were treated at the accident site, in the area of Hastings Drive and David Avenue.

“The emergency crews are triaging patients at the scene and transporting them to medical facilities as needed, said Con fire department official.

Soon after the derailment, a fire broke out which led to some confusion among the rescuers.

The fire officials said no fire started from the train. It is suspected after the last two cars derailed it could have caused minor sparks which could have caused small fires around the derailed cars.

After the initial probe, BART suspects heat in the region could be responsible for the derailment.

The BART has deployed a 70-member crew to work overnight to remove the train, cut out the damaged track and replace it.

“We likely will not get back that track in service by 5am but the opposite track is undamaged and continues to be operational,” the BART Twitter account said.

After an initial assessment, BART officials say they suspected the heat raging in the area could be responsible for the derailment. Officials say a curve in the trackway between Concord and Pleasant Hill stations could have been caused by the extremely warm weather prevailing in the area.

The authorities asked people to stay away from the area as the crew would be busy evacuating the train and extinguishing spot fires.

As it is unlikely that the services will be resumed by early Wednesday morning, one track will remain operational while the damage is being repaired. The authorities said the crew will work overnight and if required beyond till the track is repaired.