Almost two days after a 39-year-old Boston man died after he got trapped in the door of a Red Line subway car, the MBTA declined to answer basic questions about what happened.
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority spokesman Joe Pesaturo declined to say if Robinson Lalin was getting on or off the train. He declined to say if the T suspects the car, which was put into service more than 50 years ago, malfunctioned. He declined to say if officials think the operator — who is no longer driving trains as the investigation continues — might be at fault.
The lack of information left Lalin’s family to describe a nightmarish turn of events.
“He ended up being dragged to the end of the platform where his arm was detached and his body smashed against the wall, breaking all of his bones,” Lalin’s nephew, Kelvin Lalin, told reporters in an interview broadcast by WCVB-TV.
“We can’t even have an open casket,” he told The Boston Globe Monday night.
Lalin’s death is the latest in a recent series of safety incidents on the MBTA system causing transit advocates to issue urgent warnings about the need for more funding and oversight of the sprawling system.
“It should be really, really hard for someone to get hurt or die getting on or off the T,” said Stacy Thompson, executive director of LivableStreets Alliance, a public transportation advocacy group. “The alarm bells should have gone off six months ago.”
Anisha Chakrabarti, a spokeswoman for Governor Charlie Baker, said the administration’s investments in the MBTA have increased every year since the winter storms of 2015, adding it’s “premature to comment on the nature of the incident until the investigation is complete.”
T General Manager Steve Poftak did not respond to interview requests.
The National Transportation Safety Board, Suffolk district attorney’s office, and MBTA Transit Police are investigating the death. Richard Sullivan, superintendent of the Transit Police, identified the victim as Robinson Lalin, of Boston, and said Monday the investigation remains active.
Source: Boston Globe