In a tragic accident in San Francisco on Monday, a woman who had a dog tethered to her waist with a leash was dragged to death by a train.
The accident occurred at Powell Street Station at about 3.16 pm on 13 September, with a spokesperson for Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) saying officials are investigating the fatal incident.
Transit officials told the media that the 41-year-old woman, Amy Adams, had boarded a Dublin/Pleasanton bound train with her dog. 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”, a spokesperson said.
Officials and witnesses said Adams appeared to be waving at someone before she was dragged away.
The train departed with the dog still inside, and the woman was “dragged and pulled onto the tracks”.
The dog was not injured, the officials said.
Alicia Trost, the BART spokesperson, said in a statement: “This is a tragic loss of life, and we are following all safety protocols.”
The officials are also investigating if the dog was a service animal, while adding that “there was no visual indication” that this was the case.
Pets that are not service dogs are required to travel in a secure, enclosed carrier on the BART system, the LA Times reported.
The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the case.
An eyewitness, Mike Sim, told KGO-TV: “It was pretty traumatic.” He said that he was on the platform and saw Adams’ body being dragged. He described the scene as “it was kind of like dut, dut, dut, dut, dut.”
Mr Sim also said that he spoke with a man who was hysterical on the platform who told him that Adams’ was his girlfriend.
He said: “It was pretty grotesque.”
The eyewitness then called a BART attendant, he recalled, saying: “You need to stop the Dublin train that just left Powell Street cause there’s somebody stuck on the door.”
Peter Knudson, the NTSB spokesperson told the media that two agency investigators will spend approximately one week on the scene “investigating, documenting the train and platform as well as looking at the functionality of the door system and operational procedures for directing passengers getting on and off the train”.
Mr Knudson said: “And they’ll be gathering any types of sources of recorded data, so this could be video surveillance there could be recorded data at the train control centre.”
However, an NTSB preliminary report could take about 30 days.
Mr Knudson said that the “preliminary report is going to lay out the facts and the circumstances of the accident it will not be analytical it won’t point to a cause or factor.”
ABC News reported that the final report including probable cause could take one to two years to complete. But the NTSB says that “safety improvements are often made sooner”.
Meanwhile, the fatal accident also caused some major delays on Monday afternoon. Later, BART tweeted that the Powell Street Station train service was being restored.
In 2018, BART was fined $1.3m — a historic, largest-ever fine — for safety violations resulting in two worker deaths in 2013.