A 13-year veteran MTA worker died early Monday morning when he fell onto an electrified third rail, officials said.
James Knell, 45, was a supervisor of a crew working to maintenance the elevated A-line track at Beach 90th street station in Rockaway Beach when the accident happened, according to Transit officials.
“We lost one of our own this morning and labeling this incident a tragedy is a painful statement of the obvious,” said MTA NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast.
The incident happened just hours before the station was to be returned to service ahead of the Monday morning rush hour period.
It had been raining on and off throughout the night, but there has been no confirmation if that was a cause of the accident. MTA said it didn’t have further details, as the investigation is ongoing.
“The Office of System Safety and the Department of Subways has begun an investigation into this incident to both determine a cause and to ensure we prevent a recurrence,” Prendergast said.
Service on the A-line had been suspended this morning while officials investigated the scene, but is now running on regular schedule, according to the MTA.
Knell is the first MTA worker killed on the job since April 2007, when two men were killed on the tracks on separate days in the same week. Those incidents prompted the MTA to pull all crews for a 24-hour period while safety procedures were reviewed.
Published at 1:13 PM EST on Apr 26, 2010