Two Bay-Area transit workers performing a track inspection were killed by an out-of-service train on Saturday, the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency said.
The accident comes amid a strike that has paralyzed the system. The New York Times reports:
"One of the workers was an employee and the other a contractor for the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, known as BART. The agency's workers went on strike Friday in a dispute over their contract, leaving thousands of commuters to find other ways to get to work.
"The names of the workers who were killed have not been released. They had 'extensive experience working around moving trains in both the freight train and the rapid transit industry,' according to a statement from BART officials."
The transit agency said the train that hit the workers was in automatic mode. The employees, said BART, work in a team of two. One performs the maintenance, while the other watches out for incoming trains. The accident is still under investigation.
One of the workers killed was part of the striking union, but the Times reports a BART official said he chose to come to work anyway.
As for the strike, The San Francisco Chronicle says there is no end in sight. While the union has suspended picketing for today, the paper reports:
"The labor unions and BART management continued their exhausting finger-pointing routine, giving strap-hangers little hope that trains might be rolling before the Monday commute.
"With no negotiations scheduled, both sides said Saturday that they were waiting for the other side to budge, an institutional game of chicken."