On November 5, the Massachusetts Transit Authority (MBTA) practiced derailment accident rescue at the Malden Center subway station. Emergency responders removed the “injured” person from the train. (Feng Wenluan/The Epoch Times)
[The Epoch Times, November 08, 2023](The Epoch Times reporter Liu Jingye reported from Malden City) At noon on November 5, the sound of sirens echoed at the Malden Center subway station (Malden Center). Firefighters, police, and emergency personnel Rushing to an Orange Line train parked not far from the platform. This was not a real train accident, but an accident rescue drill.
According to a press release from the Massachusetts Rapid Transit Authority (MBTA), the scenario for this exercise was that an Orange Line train hit an obstacle during operation and derailed, injuring some passengers. The goal of the exercise was to “establish a learning environment for public safety officials to practice emergency response plans, policies and procedures for handling mass casualty incidents on Orange Line subway trains.”
The drill was originally scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on Sunday, but was delayed by more than an hour because crews failed to close the track circuit in time.
Within minutes of the start of the drill, MBTA traffic police first arrived at the scene of the derailment, and then multiple fire trucks and ambulances arrived near the track with sirens blaring.
Firefighters set up ladders at the end of the derailed train, then entered the carriages to guide uninjured passengers to evacuate in an orderly manner. Next, emergency personnel arrived with stretchers to assist the “injured” and “disabled” passengers off the train. The last team of firefighters arrived with jacks to put the “derailed” train back on the track.
The “passengers” in this exercise were all played by volunteers. They quickly entered their roles after the exercise began. Some asked the rescuers for instructions, and some of the “injured” kept shouting because of “pain.”
“For us, this is a test of all of our systems, where we test crew dispatch, radio broadcasts, and emergency responders to make sure all MBTA equipment is up to standard.” Richard Maynard, deputy chief of the Morton Fire Department Menard said.
Officials say many new emergency responders don’t have real-life rescue experience, so these types of events are needed to help them learn.
“Because mass casualty events don’t happen often, not everyone is ready to deal with it. So we use these opportunities to prepare and learn from these events.” Cataldo Ambulance said senior executive Robert White.
This derailment accident drill is part of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s annual evaluation of the MBTA. Similar exercises will be held at other locations. In New Bedford, for example, the MBTA will conduct a commuter train derailment drill on November 19 and is currently seeking volunteers. ◇
Editor in charge: Feng Wenluan