NTSB Investigating San Francisco Municipal Wreck

SAN FRANCISCO — The The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a light rail crash that injured more than 40 people.

At 2:57 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 18, 2009, a San Francisco Municipal light rail vehicle struck the rear of another light rail vehicle at the West Portal Station.

“Given the recent transit system accidents around the country, we are especially concerned with what has happened here,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. “We are determined to find the cause of this and the other transit accidents so that the issues that our investigations turn up can be addressed, leading to safer transit systems for our citizens.”

Two Los Angeles-based investigators from the NTSB Office of Railroad, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Investigations are responding to the scene.

“It sounded like a bomb or an explosion. We looked up and said, ‘What the heck was that?’ ” the San Francisco Chronicle quoted one witness as saying. “All this smoke was pouring out of the back of the streetcar.”