On September 13, 2021, about 3:13 p.m. local time, a Bay Area Rapid Transit passenger was dragged and killed as BART train 511 was departing the Powell St. Station in San Francisco, California. The passenger and a leashed canine boarded a railcar, the canine’s leash attached to a backpack the passenger was wearing. Seconds before the train’s departure, the passenger exited the railcar onto the platform while the leashed canine remained on the train, and the side passenger train doors closed on and pinched the canine’s leash. As the train departed the Powell St. Station, the passenger, still attached to the leash, was dragged along the platform by the train and collided with the gate at the end of the platform.
We determined that the probable cause of the September 13, 2021, passenger fatality was the closure of the side passenger doors of the ninth railcar from BART train 511 onto a canine leash attached to the passenger’s backpack, leaving her tethered to the train as it departed the Powell St. Station and dragging her along the station platform, resulting in her collision with a gate at the end of the platform.