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Man crushed by BART elevator in San Francisco

March 11, 2013 |  1:27 pm

BART train
Authorities continued Monday to investigate the death of a man who appeared to have been crushed by an elevator at a BART station in San Francisco.

The victim, described as an adult male, was found Sunday at the Montgomery Street Station after authorities responded to a passenger stuck in a stalled elevator about 9:35 p.m., said Alicia Trost, a spokeswoman for Bay Area Rapid Transit.

His body was between the elevator and the shaft wall, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger reported that the elevator became stuck just after he heard a male voice cry out in pain.

It was possible, Trost said, that the man had been homeless. He had no identification on him, and personal belongings, including what looked like bedding, were found in the shaft.

Transit police are trying to determine how the man gained access to the shaft.

“There’s two points of entry into the area,” Trost said. “There’s the ventilation system, but we checked all points of entry and they’re secure. Really the only way to get in is through the elevator emergency hatch, which you would need a boost to get in there.”

Trost said that although BART stations attract the homeless, no one is allowed to spend the night and police do a sweep every night to ensure there are no trespassers. She said that BART employees have no recollection of a similar incident ever occurring.

“It’s highly unusual and upsetting,” she said.

State Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials have inspected the elevator and will return before it is put back in service, which is expected to be next week.


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Photo: A BART train against the San Francisco skyline. Credit: Eric Risberg / Associated Press.