New surveillance video shows the moment a corroded utility box broke, striking a woman at an MBTA station – Boston 25 News

CAMBRIDGE, MA — Officials announced Tuesday that the corroded utility box that broke and crashed on a woman at an MBTA station was installed more than a decade ago as part of a defunct biological agent detection system.

Emergency crews responding to the Harvard Square Station of the Red Line around 4:30 p.m. Monday found a woman on the platform who had been hit by a large piece of equipment, later identified as a utility box support brace, according to the MBTA. Officials at the scene estimated that he weighed about 200 pounds in all.

Transit officials said the area was cordoned off immediately, and an investigation into the accident concluded that the utility box had corroded support belts.

Officials also noted that the box was installed as part of a 2011 pilot program led by the MIT Lincoln Laboratory and funded by the Department of Homeland Security, to house sensors capable of detecting and recognizing biological agents.

“The funds have not served any purpose since the pilot program ended in 2013,” a T spokesperson said in a statement.

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In response to the accident, MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng began checking support belts at all Red Line stations and ordered crews to remove a total of 13 remaining boxes at Harvard, Porter, and Davis stations.

The spokesman explained that “General Manager Phil Eng visited the site personally and instructed to inspect each station immediately for the presence of these boxes and the condition of the support belts to ensure that they do not pose any danger.”

A newly released surveillance video captured the moment the box fell on the woman. It seemed to hit her face instantly.

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The woman was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment for minor injuries. She said TN Eng has been in contact with her since then.

T described the incident as an “isolated case” and pledged to complete all inspections by the end of Tuesday.

Fellow riders Boston 25 spoke with were outraged by the incident, especially given the fact that a roof panel broke at the same stop in March, slamming two passengers.

In response to this incident, the MBTA 76 replaced its aging roof panels.

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“I think it’s unbelievable. I think it’s totally unfortunate and there’s no excuse for that,” said MBTA rider Paul Grover. I think it points to the T’s structural looks like they need to invest more to maintain It is safe for everyone.”

Inspections of other subway lines in the T are also scheduled.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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