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Accident Report Detail

Long Island Railroad Company, Door Accident, Huntington Station

Executive Summary

9:48 a. m., e.s.t., December 1, 1974, a man was killed as a Long Island Rail Road commuter train departed Huntington Station, N. Y. The victim had attempted to exit the standing train, but he was initially trapped between two sliding doors as they closed on him. This kept the doors open far enough for the door power-interlock to prevent the engineer from starting the train. When the man succeeded in moving the upper part of his body to the outside, the doors closed and locked on his right ankle, enabling the train to start. Since none of the crewmembers had observed the victim's entrapment, the conductor gave the "all clear" signal, and the engineer started the train.

The victim was dragged backward along and off the platform; then, he contacted the third rail and was electrocuted. The conductor, who was alerted by a person outside the train and by a passenger signaled the engineer, who stopped the train after it had traveled approximately 180 feet.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the design of the sliding doors which permitted the train to be moved without a positive means for detecting the presence of a person caught between the doors. Contributing to the cause were:

  1. Absence of procedures that required the conductor to monitor visually all doors.
  2. The lack of knowledge on the part of passengers in regard to the means available to respond to the emergency.

Accident Location: Huntington Station , NY    
Accident Date: 12/1/1974
Accident ID: 80000

Date Adopted: 4/30/1975
NTSB Number: RAR-75-05
NTIS Number: PB-242233/AS

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