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Two maintenance workers hit, killed by BART train

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Two maintenance workers were killed Saturday when they were hit by a BART train while conducting a track inspection, officials said.

“The BART police received a call...that two people had been struck and killed by a train on the track between the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hills stations,” Ben Fairow, spokesman for the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police, said. “Our officers indeed confirmed that two people had been struck and both were fatalities.”

“We have the scene locked down and we are conducting an investigation,” he said, “including interviews with everyone involved and drug testing of the train operator.”

Fairow was unable to identify the victims.

The accident occurred at approximately 1:45 p.m. about one mile north of the Walnut Creek station, BART officials said.

The workers were performing track inspections in response to a report of a dip in the track at the time of the accident, officials said. The deceased include one BART employee and a contractor.

The train was on a routine maintenance run with an experienced operator at the controls, officials said. At the time of the accident the train was being run in automatic mode under computer control.

Transit workers went on strike Friday after a weak of marathon negotiations broke down over salaries and benefits. BART, the nation's fifth-largest transit system, carries about 400,000 round-trip passengers each workday.

The breakdown between Bay Area Rapid Transit and its two main unions came after 33 hours of continuous talks and a week of stops and starts.

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louis.sahagun@latimes.com

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