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Subway honchos rail

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Rip crew bosses for lapses in safety

 

BY PETE DONOHUE

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, May 9th 2007, 4:00 AM

 

NYC Transit brass hauled in supervisors of subway work crews yesterday and admonished them for failing to follow crucial safety rules after a spot check found dangerous lapses, sources said.

 

Transit honchos fear the rule violations could lead to more tragedies underground.

 

Veteran track worker Daniel Boggs was killed by a train in Manhattan on April 24. Five days later, Marvin Franklin, another veteran, was run over by a train in Brooklyn.

 

"We just lost two people," NYC Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges said. "We are doing the internal audits to reinforce the message that the proper procedures have to be followed."

 

Random checks of maintenance and other projects late Monday found some supervisors and trackmen were ignoring key guidelines, the sources said.

 

For example, some crews were not using safety devices that should be placed on tracks to trigger the brakes of trains barreling into a work zone, sources said.

 

In another incident, track inspector John Samuelsen said he saw a gang of about a dozen rookie trackmen and their supervisor collecting debris near a curve on the tracks.

 

If a train had come down the tracks, the workers would not have had anywhere to seek refuge, Samuelsen said. The crew also was not using the safety device to trigger a train's brakes, he said.

 

NYC Transit classifies such violations as a "near miss" because of the potential for injury and death.

 

The Daily News reported yesterday that there were 98 near misses in subway tunnels and along elevated tracks from 2003 to 2006.

 

Just last week, the track supervisors themselves were in charge of giving refresher courses to trackmen during a temporary halt of all nonemergency work imposed by NYC Transit President Howard Roberts after Franklin was killed.

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