Track worker killed by third rail - Metro US

Track worker killed by third rail

A union leader wants to know why a track foreman who was killed yesterday morning on the job was working alone, in the pre-dawn rain, around an electric third rail.

“We lost one of our own this morning,” said NYC Transit President Tom Prendergast.

James Knell, a track supervisor, was electrocuted when he tripped and fell on a live third rail at about 4:30 a.m. on the elevated A-line near the Beach 90th Street station in Rockaway Beach.

“Workers shouldn’t be around energized third rails in wet conditions,” said John Samuelson, president of the Transit Workers Union, who said he worked alongside Knell on the tracks for many years. “There’s also questions as to why management allowed him to go down on the track alone.”

The MTA said the accident is under investigation.

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