Bay Area Rapid Transit Passenger Fatality

Investigation Details

What Happened

This information is preliminary and will be either supplemented or corrected during the course of the investigation. Release date 18 NOV 2021. 

​On September 13, 2021, about 3:15 pm local time, a passenger who had exited a northbound blue line Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train was dragged and fatally injured after their leashed dog became trapped behind closed passenger doors as the train was leaving the Powell Street station in San Francisco, California. Preliminary information indicates the dog was leashed to the passenger’s backpack. Seconds before the train’s departure, the passenger stepped out of the ninth car of a 10-car train and onto the platform, while the dog remained on the train. The passenger doors closed, pinching the leash between the doors, and separating the passenger from the dog. The train then departed dragging the passenger along the length of the Powell Street station platform. The dog was uninjured and was returned to a friend of the victim.

While on scene, National Transportation Safety Board investigators conducted equipment and passenger door inspections, reviewed signal and train control data logs, obtained data from the railcar image recorders and event recorder, observed BART train operations, and conducted interviews. The National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation is ongoing. Future investigative activity will focus on the transit agency’s safety procedures and passenger safety awareness.

Parties to this National Transportation Safety Board investigation include BART, the California Public Utilities Commission, the Federal Transit Administration, and the Amalgamated Transit Union. Text of preliminary report.

Announcements about media briefings and other activities related to this investigation will be made on the NTSB’s media relations Twitter feed @NTSB_Newsroom. ​