Students witness trolley collision at Boylston Station that injures dozens

by Heidi Moeller / Beacon Staff • November 29, 2012

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Emergency crews surrounded the Boylston St. station and attended to the wounded passengers.
Emergency crews surrounded the Boylston St. station and attended to the wounded passengers.

A collision between two green line trolleys at the Boylston Street MBTA Outbound station at noon Thursday resulted in 35 passengers being transported to area hospitals, according to Chief of Boston EMS James Hooley. He said there were no life-threatening injuries.

A chaotic scene surrounded the station immediately after the collision as dozens of ambulances and fire trucks lined the area along Boylston and Tremont streets. Injured passengers were put on stretchers and transported out of the station.

According to Superintendent-in-Chief of the MBTA Transit Police Joseph O’Connor, a low speed collision was the cause of the accident. There was one E line train on the platform as another two-car train entered the station and made contact with the train already there. He said there was no derailment of the trolleys, and the cars had minor damages.

During their investigation of the accident, MBTA officials found minor damage to the track resulting from the collision, but said that it was not enough to prevent the station from reopening.

Emily Frachtling, a senior visual and media arts major, said she was on the Green Line train that collided with the one already in Boylston Station. She said her train — coming from the Park Street station — did not slow down as it entered the Boylston stop.

“I noticed we were about to hit the train,” Frachtling said. “Everyone in my car was okay ... people were knocked to the ground. It was wild. It was a really shocking impact.”

Sophomore visual and media arts major Andrew Gayter said he just got out of class when the accident happened.

“I remember walking out the door — because I just had an entire research writing class about Sept. 11 — and seeing a bunch of ambulances outside,” he said. “I was already on high alert, and I wasn’t sure how serious it was at first.”

Gayter said he noticed that passengers suffered a wide range of injuries. He said he left the scene after firefighters finished evacuating the station, and MBTA officials entered to investigate.

“At that point I saw a few of the firemen smiling and appeared to be laughing,” he said, “and I realized it wasn’t serious if the firemen were joking around.”

The Boylston station reopened at approximately 2:45 p.m. According to the MBTA website, customers should expect 25-30 minute residual delays in service.

Ryan Catalani, Beacon Staff, Frankie Olito, Beacon Staff, and Tyler Deffebach, Beacon Staff, contributed to this report.