New York City, NY—Metropolitan Transit Authorities (MTA) are expected to conduct a full investigation into a tragic on the job accident that resulted in the death of a New York City Transit supervisor at approximately 4:30 a.m. Monday, April 26, 2010. According to reports, a city transit employee was electrocuted by the third rail of the elevated train tracks during rainy weather conditions in Queens. While the incident, which marked the first NYC transit worker death to occur in three years, may appear to have happened by unfortunate chance, a comprehensive probe will be required to validate that hypothesis. News coverage concerning the deadly workplace accident also noted that under NYC Transit safety regulations, employees are barred from working near the live third rail if it is “raining or the area is rain-slicked”, according to information provided by the New York Daily News.
Reports stated veteran NYC Transit supervisor James Knell, 45, was picking up an over-night shift for a fellow employee when the accident occurred on the A line, in close proximity to the Beach 90th Street station in Rockaway Beach. Inconsistent downpours had been reported throughout the night Knell was working, however, it was unknown whether the rain had come to a complete stop or continued to fall lightly at 4:30 a.m. Knell was allegedly finishing up his work and went to recover a bucket of spikes left on the railway tracks when he slipped on the wet tracks, consequently landing on the electrified third rail. Knell, an employee with NYC Transit for 13 years, was electrocuted and succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
According to Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 President John Samuelsen, “Working in the rain around a live third rail is inherently dangerous, it shouldn’t happen… A man is not going home to his family.” Knell leaves behind his wife, Jackie, who is devastated by the accident. Investigations into the fatal transit-related accident are expected to be underway.
New York Workplace injury attorney Jonathan C. Reiter states if you or a loved one has suffered injury or death due to neglect in the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. With over three decades of experience litigating the complex claims of victims and family members of those injured or killed on the job, contacting the Law Firm of Jonathan C. Reiter with regard to your workplace injury or wrongful death case may help you acquire the monetary damages you deserve.