Toronto Transit Commission incidents

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Shuttle buses are often deployed to replace service during an emergency subway closure that is expected to last more than 15 minutes
Bloor–Yonge station during a service disruption on the Yonge line.

This article lists major incidents of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) since 1954.

Accidents and other incidents

20th century

  • On March 27, 1963, a six-car subway train was completely destroyed by fire. This occurred on a spare track near Union station, after the few remaining passengers were evacuated.[1]
  • On November 7, 1975, 16-year-old schoolgirl Mariam Debra Peters was murdered in St. Patrick station. This led to sections of the respective platforms of St. Patrick and Queen's Park stations being sealed off from the public, along with the installation of "prison" bars at one end of Museum station to allow for ventilation.[2]
  • On December 12, 1975, a TTC bus travelling east on St. Clair Avenue collided with a westbound GO Transit train at the level crossing between Danforth Road and Midland Avenue just north of the Scarborough GO Train Station. Nine people were killed and 20 others injured. This was the worst accident in terms of loss of life in the history of the TTC and GO Transit systems. The level crossing was replaced by an overpass a few years later. This also led to the Ontario-wide law that all public buses and school buses must come to a stop at level rail crossings prior to proceeding.[3]
  • On October 15, 1976, an arson destroyed a train and caused significant damage to Christie station. There is evidence today with the odd-coloured trim tiles on the station walls on the centre of the platforms.[4][5] A section of the line was closed for two days.
  • On June 1, 1982, electrician Reynold Achong was killed by a train while working on the tracks at Summerhill station.[6][7]
  • On August 11, 1995, the Russell Hill subway accident resulted in the deaths of three passengers and injuries to 30 others. There were an additional 100 passengers who filed injury-related claims from the accident.
  • In late 1995, TTC employee Jimmy Trajceski was killed during a robbery at Victoria Park station. Adrian Kinkead was arrested four months later for the crime and was found to be responsible for two other murders. He was convicted of all three crimes and sentenced to life in prison.[8]
  • On September 27, 1997, 23-year-old Charlene Minkowski was killed when she was pushed in front of a southbound train at Dundas station. Herbert Cheong, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was convicted of second-degree murder[9] and sentenced life in prison with no possibility of parole for 15 years.[10]
  • Between January 2 and 4, 1999, an exceptionally large snowstorm paralyzed parts of Central Ontario and the Eastern United States. As a result, the city and the transit system ground to a halt. In the following days, major interruptions and delays were incurred and policies to handle snow at the Commission were changed.[11]

21st century

2000s

  • On December 8, 2000, a garbage train caught fire while en route through Old Mill station. The train was completely destroyed and the station remained closed for two days. Since the incident, the TTC has stopped the practice of using garbage trains and maintains a fleet of surface garbage trucks to collect refuse.[12]
  • On August 14, 2003, at around 4:15 p.m. EDT, the Northeast Blackout affected parts of Canada and the northeastern United States. The city of Toronto, like many other cities involved, effectively ground to a halt. Subway service was suspended and 18 trains sat stuck in tunnels between stations, unable to move with no power. However, all other trains were able to coast without power to the nearest station to be evacuated.[13] Streetcars remained stationary where they were, and buses fought to get through gridlocked traffic, hampered by the lack of traffic signals. The subway did not reopen until August 18. This was the longest complete interruption in subway service in the history of the TTC. The incident led to an extensive review of TTC emergency procedures.
  • On February 6, 2006, Mary Kim was born on a subway train at Wellesley station. TTC officials later promised Mary Kim lifetime access to the TTC.[14]
  • On April 23, 2007, a TTC asbestos removal crew employee, Tony Almeida, was killed and several others were injured at the end of a night shift when the work car they were operating snagged on some cabling and dislodged a work platform. The TTC was fined $250,000 for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act.[15][16] It was later found that Almeida was under the influence of cannabis.[17]

2010s

  • On May 13, 2011, two TTC buses collided head-on at a ramp on the lower bus level at Wilson station.
  • On August 30, 2011, a woman was killed when a TTC bus rear-ended a flatbed truck carrying a crane at around 2:30 p.m. on Lawrence Avenue between Victoria Park Avenue and Don Mills Road.[18] At least 13 other people were injured in the crash.[19][20][21] The bus driver was charged with criminal negligence causing death and possession of cannabis, as the drug was found in his belongings at the time of the accident.[22][23][24]
  • On July 22, 2012, two people were injured when a bus crashed into a building on Queen Street West at Peter Street. The bus hit a car and then a cab before slamming into the building.[25][26]
  • On August 10, 2012, a man was chased through the Lawrence East station and gunned-down against a fence. He survived with critical injuries and was identified as one of the emerging leaders of the Galloway Boys gang.[27][28]
  • On September 14, 2012, before the start of service TTC employee, Peter Pavlovski was killed and another TTC employee was seriously injured after being struck by a subway maintenance train north of Yorkdale station. Subway service was affected for the morning rush hour during the investigation because the incident left many trains stranded in the Wilson Subway Yard.[29]
  • On July 27, 2013, 18-year-old Sammy Yatim was shot dead by police aboard the 505 Dundas streetcar.
  • On August 13, 2013, a cube truck crashed head-on into an idle TTC bus near Middlefield Road and Steeles Avenue East at 11:30 am. The accident killed one person and injured 12 people.[30]
  • On December 13, 2013, the Toronto Police were called at Queen station after gunshots were fired. The station was closed and subway service was suspended in the affected area during the investigation between December 13 and 14, 2013.
  • Between December 21 and 22, 2013, a violent ice storm affected the City of Toronto (which also affected much of Eastern Canada, the Central Great Plains and the Northeastern United States). On December 22, the TTC suspended all streetcar services for most of the day after a number of streetcars were stranded due to the thick ice on the overhead wires. The storm also affected much of the TTC's subway network. Between December 22 and 23, all of Line 3 Scarborough was shut down by fallen tree limbs caused by the freezing rain and by other power related issues. Line 4 Sheppard was closed between December 22 and 24 due to power-related issues, a number of service disruptions were also reported on TTC's other major subway lines, including Line 1 Yonge–University and Line 2 Bloor–Danforth, where some stations were closed due to power outages for several hours.[31]
  • On January 29, 2015, a brawl occurred at the concourse level of Union station just after a Toronto Maple Leafs game. Two intoxicated men were resisting arrest, and fighting with Transit Special Constables. During the arrest, two TTC Transit Enforcement Unit officers punched one man in the face several times and another man in the ribs during the arrest. Toronto Police arrived and charged the two men. A cell phone video was later posted on Facebook, causing public scrutiny and backlash against the TTC. An independent review of the incident later deemed the arrest and subsequent use of force to be lawful.[32][33] Two years later, the victims filed a $4 million lawsuit against the TTC and the two enforcement officers.[34]
  • On June 8, 2015, between 6:30 am and 8:00 am, the entire subway network was shut down due to "major communication issues" between TTC subway trains and the TTC's transit control centre. Hundreds of thousands of commuters were stranded during the shutdown since no shuttle buses were provided to replace subway service. TTC officials believed the incident was caused by a defective switch that drained the battery for the backup power supply.[35]
  • On June 18, 2018, a man believed to be in his mid-50s to early 60s was pushed onto the eastbound Line 2 Bloor–Danforth tracks at Bloor–Yonge station and died when struck by an incoming subway train. A first-degree murder charge was laid against the man accused of the attack.[36]

Suicides

The TTC has long maintained a policy of not releasing suicide information and statistics to the public or the media for fear of the possibility of "copycat suicides". In 2008, the Toronto Sun launched a year-long appeal before Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner to have the TTC release information on the number of suicides and attempts between 1998 and 2007. The Information and Privacy Commissioner ordered the statistics be made available, and they were released to the public on November 26, 2009.[37]

From 1998 to 2007, 150 people died by suicide by coming into contact with a TTC subway train. Since 1954, when the Yonge subway line first opened, there have been more than 1,200 incidents on the TTC (including both fatalities and attempts).[38]

After being forced to make the information public, the TTC ensured that it also released information demonstrating the efforts being taken to intervene and prevent such incidents in the future.[39] The TTC's "Gatekeeper Program" is an internal course available for front line staff to learn and identify the warning signs of someone who may be suicidal, and help them or try to prevent them from doing so on the transit system. The TTC also has partnerships with St. Michael's Hospital and other institutions to assist with both prevention programs and counselling programs for staff who have witnessed such incidents.[40] The TTC maintains that it will continue its policy of not reporting suicides and suicide-related statistics,[37] however in February 2010, statistics from 2008 and 2009 were released in a public report to the Commission regarding suicide and suicide prevention.[41] On November 10, 2014, separate suicide attempts were made, halting service on two lines. Following this, platform screen doors were discussed, however the TTC does not yet have a plan for funding the $800 million required to upgrade all 75 subway stations, which also includes the December 2017 extension of Line 1 to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre station.[42]

Statistics

The below statistics are the subway suicide incidents and attempts from 1998 through 2016:[43]

 Year   Suicides   Attempts  Total Incidents
1998 12 13 25
1999 22 4 26
2000 21 12 33
2001 12 17 29
2002 16 11 27
2003 17 9 26
2004 15 8 23
2005 14 6 20
2006 8 11 19
2007 13 9 22
2008 11 8 19
2009 14 4 18
2010 19 10 29
2011 8 8 16
2012 11 8 20
2013 8 9 17
2014 9 17 26
2015 11 5 16
2016 4 3 7

♦ Data obtained from Toronto Transit Commission Report that does not distinguish between attempted and completed suicides.

Motorists entering streetcar tunnels

There have been over twenty incidents of motorists illegally entering the streetcar portal west of Queens Quay station between 2014 and 2017.[44] The figure increased to 25 from 2014 to 2018.[45]

References

  1. ^ Bow, James (February 16, 2011). "The Gloucester Series Cars (1954–1990) – Transit Toronto – Content". Transit Toronto. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  2. ^ Brait, Ellen (January 4, 2017). "Why part of TTC's St. Patrick station is still sealed off after 1975 murder". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 5, 2017. 
  3. ^ Bateman, Chris (September 21, 2013). "Remembering the deadliest transit disaster in Toronto". blogTO. Retrieved October 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ Bow, James; Lubinski, Robert (February 16, 2011). "The Camshaft Control Hawkers (Series H1, H2, H3 and H4) – Transit Toronto – Content". Transit Toronto. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ Brader, Mark (January 10, 2008). "An Essay on Original Subway Station Design – Transit Toronto – Content". Transit Toronto. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  6. ^ McParland, Kelly (September 23, 1982). "TTC death needless, inquiry told". Toronto Star. p. B9. 
  7. ^ "Births, Deaths, Memorials". Toronto Star. June 2, 1982. p. C6. 
  8. ^ "Kinkead found guilty". CBC. July 1, 1999. Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Man pushed on to subway tracks at College station". Owen Sound Sun Times. April 23, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Toronto's News: CityNews Rewind: Woman Pushed To Her Death In Random Subway Attack". CityNews.ca. May 21, 2008. Archived from the original on March 22, 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Winter Action Plan (2008)" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved September 20, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Content: Subway Fire and Shuttle Buses". Transit Toronto. Retrieved March 25, 2009. 
  13. ^ "TTC Commission Meetings". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Toronto Baby Born On Subway Celebrates First Birthday – CityNews". citynews.ca. February 3, 2007. 
  15. ^ "CityNews: Part of Subway Likely to Stay Closed Until Tuesday After Fatal Accident". Citynews.ca. April 23, 2007. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2009. 
  16. ^ Peat, Don (November 24, 2008). "Service over safety: TTC employees". Toronto Sun. Retrieved March 25, 2009. 
  17. ^ Jeff Gray. "National". globeandmail.com. Toronto. Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2009. 
  18. ^ Toronto TTC bus accident leaves woman dead, several injured (Includes interview). Digitaljournal.com (August 30, 2011). Retrieved on July 26, 2013.
  19. ^ McKnight, Zoe (August 31, 2011). "One dead, 11 injured in TTC bus crash". thestar.com. Toronto. Archived from the original on February 12, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Toronto transit bus crash kills 1, injures 11". CTV Ottawa. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  21. ^ "One woman dead, 11 injured in TTC bus crash". CP24. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  22. ^ "TTC driver charged in fatal crash". CBC News. October 12, 2011. 
  23. ^ "TTC justified in firing employee who stole to feed a drug addiction: arbitrator". Global Toronto. August 18, 2011. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  24. ^ "TTC bus driver facing charges in fatal crash". Global Toronto. October 12, 2011. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Two transported to hospital after TTC bus collides with building". CTV News. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Two people injured after TTC bus hits building". CP24. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  27. ^ Poisson, Jayme; Dempsey, Amy (September 12, 2012). "Danzig St.: Police link Scarborough barbecue deaths with Galloway Boys gang war". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 4, 2017. 
  28. ^ Smith Cross, Jessica (September 11, 2012). "Innocent man mistaken for Galloway Boys target shot dead: Police". Metro News. Toronto. Retrieved August 16, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Subway resumes after TTC worker killed by train". The Toronto Star. September 14, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Toronto crash leaves bus passenger dead, at least 12 hurt". CBC News. 
  31. ^ "'Catastrophic' ice storm blankets GTA". CP24. December 22, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013. 
  32. ^ http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/video-of-ttc-officers-punching-men-during-arrest-posted-to-facebook-1.2306736
  33. ^ Kalinowski, Tess; Gillis, Wendy (April 1, 2015). "TTC ask Toronto police to investigate violent incident". Toronto Star. 
  34. ^ "TTC, 2 transit officers sued for $4M in violent Union Station confrontation". Global News. 
  35. ^ "Subway shutdown was caused by defective switch". CP24. June 8, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2015. 
  36. ^ "1st-degree murder charge laid in death of man struck at Bloor-Yonge subway station". CBC News. June 18, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2018. 
  37. ^ a b "Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario orders TTC to release suicide statistics". Toronto Transit Commission. November 26, 2009. 
  38. ^ "TTC talks suicide in secret". The Toronto Sun. 
  39. ^ "TTC copes with death by subway". The Toronto Sun. November 27, 2009. 
  40. ^ "Blood on the tracks". The National Post. November 27, 2009. [permanent dead link]
  41. ^ "Subway Suicide Prevention" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. February 17, 2010. 
  42. ^ Casey, Liam. "Subway Suicides and the Case for Platform Barriers on the TTC". torontoist.com. Retrieved November 21, 2014. 
  43. ^ "Suicides decrease on Toronto subway platforms in 2015". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. January 13, 2016. Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  44. ^ O'Neil, Lauren (January 2, 2017). "Another car got stuck inside the TTC's Queens Quay tunnel". blogTO. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  45. ^ Rizza, Alanna (March 11, 2018). "Car drives into Queens Quay streetcar tunnel – again". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 11, 2018. 
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