LIRR Shutdown Last Month Partially Caused By Human Error

The mistake was made after lightning struck on Sept. 29.

Monday, Oct 24, 2011  |  Updated 12:50 PM EDT
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A lightning strike near the LIRR Jamaica station crippled the system for hours. Chris Glorioso reports.

Chris Glorioso

A lightning strike near the LIRR Jamaica station crippled the system for hours. Chris Glorioso reports.

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The near-systemwide shutdown of the Long Island Rail Road last month was partially caused by a worker's error, according to an agency report.

Newsday reported that an employee entered a "programming error" while working to repair damage after the lightning strike.

The mistake caused the signal system at Jamaica station to go down, stranding trains and customers for hours.

According to Newsday, LIRR President Helena Williams said Monday that the night was "grueling for you and our employees."

She apologized but said, "we recognize, plain and simply, that doesn't make up for the long night of exasperation, frustration and discomfort experienced by you, our customers."

The lightning struck just before the evening rush on Sept. 29.

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