Woman tethered to dog is dragged to death by BART train at San Francisco station

Map showing location of Powell Street BART station in San Francisco.
The Powell Street BART station in San Francisco.

A woman who boarded a BART train while tethered to her dog was dragged to her death after she briefly stepped off the train at a platform and the train pulled away with the dog still inside, authorities said.

The fatal accident occurred at 3:16 p.m. Monday, just after the woman boarded an Oakland-bound train at San Francisco’s Powell Street station with her dog, which was tethered to her at the waist.

For the record:

2:12 a.m. Sept. 15, 2021A previous headline said incorrectly that the woman was holding the dog’s leash when the accident occurred. The dog was tethered to the woman at her waist.

“Then at the very last second, right as the doors were closing, she fully off-boarded the train, clearing the doors, and the dog did not,” the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency said in a statement. “She appeared to be waving at someone. The train departed with the dog inside the train, and the woman was dragged and pulled into the track.”

The dog was not injured.

The only animals allowed on the BART system on a leash are service dogs trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. In the statement, the agency said, “There was no visual indication the dog was a service animal, but it is under investigation.”

Pets that are not service dogs are required to travel in a secure, enclosed carrier on the BART system.


The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation.

“This is a tragic loss of life,” BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said in the statement.