Yet Another Train Derails in San Francisco
Train derailments can lead to serious injuries in San Francisco. Millions of people rely on these commuter trains to get to work and connect with others, especially given the high cost of fuel in the modern era. While San Francisco city officials laud the sustainability of public transit, they often fail to provide commuters with safe transport options. All too often, trains derail in the Bay Area – causing serious injuries or deaths. A recent incident in this area proves that the issue has not been resolved. It goes without saying that commuters are now reluctant to set foot on these trains, especially given the sheer number of derailments within the past few years. If you have suffered some kind of injury while commuting on a San Francisco train, you may be wondering how you will pay for your medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and other damages.
Train Derails on New Year’s Day in San Francisco
For many commuters in San Francisco, the New Year began with a bang in 2024 – but not the kind they were expecting. This was not the explosion of fireworks or the popping of champagne bottles but rather the screeching, smashing derailment of a commuter train. Several people were injured when the train derailed outside of Orinda on New Year’s Day, but it didn’t end there. The Bay Area Rapid Transit train subsequently caught fire, putting dozens of people in direct danger of smoke inhalation and burns. This situation could have been much worse, but everyone miraculously escaped with their lives. It was yet another pitiful chapter in BART’s continuing string of safety issues.
Various passengers were transported to nearby hospitals with a multitude of injuries, while others crawled out from the wreckage and ran for their lives – back toward Orinda Station. One witness describes how she pried open the train doors as the fire erupted in the background. Other passengers urged her to jump so they could follow her out of the train in a situation she described “like Mission Impossible […] but not in a cool way.”
How did this happen? How could BART suffer such a serious derailment after officials have assured us of their commitment to safety? An investigation is still underway, but all evidence points to some kind of issue with an interlocking section of the rail. Although this section of rail was meant to switch trains from one track to the next, something clearly went wrong. Officials are being very tight-lipped about the incident.
BART officials later revealed that the incident was likely caused by some kind of “human error,” which seems to be a clear admission of fault on their behalf. One official explained:
“There is an investigation pending so lots of things could come out of that. We don’t know right now. But what we believe right now is it’s not a track issue, it was not a train issue. So those have sort of been ruled out. What we are left with and what most of what we know points to is human error.”
It is encouraging to hear that the California Public Utilities Commission is conducting its own separate investigation into the incident. This could help hold BART more accountable, and it will be interesting to hear what this separate agency determines. As of right now, it seems that someone manually altered the interlocking tracks in an incorrect manner.
Suing for Burn Injuries After a Train Derailment
The presence of fire in this incident shows how serious train derailments can become. It is difficult to dwell on how much worse this derailment could have been if disabled or elderly individuals had been trapped within a burning, derailed train. Even after quick evacuation, exposure to fire for just a few moments can cause disfiguring burns and lifelong disabilities. It is possible to pursue compensation that reflects the psychological, non-economic nature of burn injuries. This is something burn victims may wish to discuss alongside their injury attorneys in San Francisco.
Find a Qualified Train Accident Injury Attorney in San Francisco
If you have been searching for a qualified train injury attorney in San Francisco, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. With our assistance, you can strive for the best possible outcomes and pursue compensation for your various damages. We know that derailments can lead to a wide range of injuries, including traumatic head injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, disfigurement, and much more. We also recognize that many families lose loved ones due to fatal train accidents in San Francisco. Whatever the case may be, you are not alone. Reach out today to discuss your next legal steps during a consultation.