See Video of the Crash That Caused Last Month’s Disastrous Orange Line Closure

Including a daring escape from a moving vehicle by a worker.


Photo via Benjamin Bloomenthal/Twitter

T mishaps are pretty commonplace in these parts, but this one was pretty unforgettable. Last month, the MBTA shut down the Orange Line from Sullivan Square to Tufts Medical Center for scheduled weekend repairs, but something went awry at night, and the stretch had to remain closed during the Monday morning rush hour, leading to a very painful morning commute for the thousands of Bostonians who rely on the line.

Now, video footage of the incident has emerged, allowing us to witness the moment that derailed our Monday mornings. The crash, which Boston 25 News reports occurred on track between North Station and Community College, involved two pieces of large construction equipment. In the video, you see that one vehicle is stopped on the tracks when it gets rear-ended by a second vehicle, sending both careening down the rails.

One of the most disturbing parts of this footage is how close workers were to the scene—one was standing just off to the side of the tracks, and in the un-cropped version of the video on Boston 25, you can see that there was actually another worker clinging to the front vehicle who jumps off and runs away. Somehow, everyone at the scene avoided serious injury, and no one was sent to the hospital, though the driver of one of the vehicles was evaluated for chest pains.

According to MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo, the crash is still under investigation, but the underlying cause has been chalked up to “slippery rail due to precipitation.” In the wake of this accident, Pesaturo says, the MBTA has taken several additional safety precautions, including requiring all maintenance vehicles to perform safety stops prior to entering track and increasing on-site MBTA safety staff. The MBTA has also increased on-site project management staff to ensure that another Monday morning shutdown won’t occur.

Despite this hiccup, the fruit of the MBTA’s weekend labors are definitely noticeable, with fresh paint jobs and lighting making Orange Line stops look a little sleeker. Now, Orange Line riders can reap the rewards of their weekend headaches as maintenance crews move on to the Red Line. Shuttles will replace Red Line service between Kendall/MIT and Broadway beginning Friday night at 8:45 p.m. and lasting until the Monday morning commute.