Gov: Runaway Boston Train Was 'Tampered With'

It took off with 50 passengers, no driver
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2015 12:21 PM CST
Gov: Runaway Boston Train Was 'Tampered With'
File photo of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter trains.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

About 50 Boston commuters got the creepiest ride of their lives Thursday morning when their train took off without a driver. MBTA authorities were eventually able to stop the train, but not before it went through four stations, reports the Boston Globe. None of the passengers were hurt. How it happened is still unclear, but Gov. Charlie Baker says it was no accident: "This train was tampered with, and it was tampered with by somebody who knew what they were doing," he told Boston Herald Radio, per the AP. Things seemed to go awry when the sole operator got out at the Braintree station to check on some kind of signal issue, and the train left the station without him. The 51-year-old operator was brushed by another train at Braintree and suffered minor injuries.

A woman aboard the train tells WBZ that passengers knocked on the conductor's booth after the lights went out, only to find it empty. "The whole train started going slow," she recalls. "It was all dark, everything was quiet. It was just us. We had no idea what was going on." MBTA officials shut down power to the track's third rail, and the train finally came to a halt outside the North Quincy station after 6am. The six-car train is now out of service, with initial reports suggesting that somebody tampered with a safety device within the driver's cab, allowing it to move forward without an operator. The FBI says only that it is "aware of the incident." (More Boston stories.)

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