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Train Hits Back of Second Train, 35 Injured

November 12, 1987

BOSTON (AP) _ A commuter train rammed into the back of another train letting off passengers at the large Back Bay Station during the morning rush-hour, injuring 35 riders, six of them seriously, officials said.

One train was discharging passengers at the platform when the other plowed into it at about 8:30 a.m., said city Fire Commissioner Leo Stapleton. Most of the injured passengers were aboard the first train, he added.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officials said an estimated 1,500 people were on both trains.

Deputy Fire Chief James Cosgrove said it took 90 minutes to clear everyone from the two trains and the darkened tunnel.

Stapleton said the accident occurred when one nine-car car train, coming from the southern end of the state, was struck by a seven-car train. He said the extent of injuries probably was reduced because the last car in the train at a standstill was the engine.

Inside the station, full of rescue workers from hospitals and police and fire departments, victims covered with brown wool blankets were being carried out on stretchers.

Dr. Peter Moyer, head of the city’s emergency medical services, said none of the injuries were life threatening and the most serious apparently consisted of broken bones.

He said two conductors from the trains suffered broken legs and one of them also had a broken arm.

The train that was hit was listing toward the platform, dripping snow and ice onto the ground.

Passengers aboard the train said they had to walk through a dark and smoky tunnel to the station after the accident.

″Everyone started falling and everything went black,″ said one passenger, Geri Hansen of Canton.

″I was scared; there was a lot of smoke ... especially in the tunnel you didn’t know where you were,″ said a relative, Mike Hansen.

Boston City Hospital spokesman Bill Markley said 13 people were brought to the hospital’s emergency room. One was in serious condition with trauma and other unspecified injuries; the others have minor injuries, such as scratches and bruises, he said.

MBTA spokesman Timothy Gens said other passengers were being taken to local hospitals for observation and treatment.

Ambulances and other rescue equipment rushing to the scene were hampered by streets and sidewalks covered with snow in the city’s first major snowstorm.

Betsy Albaugh said she entered the station shortly after the accident and ″everybody was just walking around dazed.″

″Everyone was kind of confused. There was a lot of smoke ... people were dazed,″ she said.

Stapleton said the National Transportation Safety Board would investigate the accident.

Update hourly