Crews at Main Street-Science World SkyTrain station rescued a female who had fallen under a train after a quarrel near the station’s west side entrance on Nov. 21.
An incident report obtained under the freedom of information law said a platform intrusion emergency sensor activated at 8:09 p.m. on the outbound tracks when train number 26 arrived.
The incident report by TransLink employee Sukhdeep Parihar said there were two females and one male involved, all estimated to be aged 15 to 20-years-old. Parihar wrote that “loud screaming” was heard at 8:09 p.m. When Transit Police arrived, the male “ran off northbound.”
Trains were evacuated, the station closed and the SkyTrain system paused. Vancouver Fire and Rescue and Emergency Health Services (EHS) arrived at 8:19 p.m. The timeline said the train was rolled off the victim at 8:33 p.m. and paramedics rushed her to Vancouver General Hospital at 8:44 p.m. A biohazard technician from Trauma Clean spent nearly a half-hour on-site prior to the approval for service to resume before 11 p.m.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police public information officer Const. Travis Blair said there had been an altercation between the three people.
“One individual involved in the altercation made her way to the platform level of the Main Street station where she was struck by a train,” Blair said. “Transit Police investigated the incident and determined that the matter was not criminal and no foul play was involved. The female’s injuries were non-life-threatening.”
EHS communications officer Jane Campbell said an ambulance, paramedic specialist and paramedic supervisor were dispatched to the scene after the 8:11 p.m. call. One patient was transported in serious condition to hospital, but Campbell would not provide any more information due to privacy laws.
TransLink representative Dan Mountain did not comment and referred a reporter to Transit Police. Mountain said TransLink and its B.C. Rapid Transit Co. division are seeking experts to conduct a trackway intrusion engineering study, including the feasibility of installing platform barriers. But the study is not expected to be complete until sometime in 2025.
On Nov. 13, just eight days before the Main Street-Science World station incident, a 41-year-old male died after he was struck by a SkyTrain at Surrey Central station. Transit Police determined the man accidentally fell into the guideway as a train entered the station.
As of Nov. 23, there had been four SkyTrain and SkyTrain track-related deaths in 2023, according to the B.C. Coroners Service.
The record was nine in 1994.
Since 1987, 109 people have died on the rapid transit system, which launched 38 years ago this week. Eighty four percent by suicide and 15 percent due to accident. The remaining one percent is classified as “undetermined.”
A coroner’s report on the 2001 death of a male at Royal Oak station quoted a 1994 study that estimated the cost of installing platform barriers at $1.7 million to $2.2 million per station, now worth $3.15 million to $4.07 million after inflation. Coroner Liana Wright suggested a low-cost solution: limiting access to platforms until trains come to a full stop.
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