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Body on tracks marks Expo Line's first fatality, officials say

The man found dead on the Expo Line tracks in Culver City marked the first fatality on the 6-month-old light-rail route, Metro officials confirmed.

Firefighters discovered the man at the Culver City station just before 1:30 a.m. Sunday and pronounced him dead at the scene, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Andrew Bedogne, whose Traffic Services Bureau is investigating the incident.

Investigators are still waiting for the Los Angeles County coroner's office to determine a cause of death, but Bedogne said it initially appeared accidental.

Metro spokesman Rick Jager said the man was not struck by a train and, because the Expo Line uses overhead wires, was not electrocuted.

"It appears he may have fallen off a platform," Jager said.

The coroner's department declined to release the man's name, pending notification of next of kin.

The Expo Line, which opened in April, runs from Culver City to downtown Los Angeles. A second phase of the line is scheduled to open in four years, when passengers will be able to ride all the way to Colorado Avenue and 4th Street in Santa Monica, putting them within walking distance of the beach.

Jager said that although the death was the line's first fatality, Metro officials would treat it as they do any other.

"It doesn't matter if it's the first or the 10th, every accident is investigated," Jager said. "If there are any lessons learned, we will apply those."

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— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

 
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