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Driverless train blows through 4 stops in Boston

Posted: 6:13 AM, Dec 11, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-11 11:13:25Z

A six-car commuter train without an operator and with 50 passengers on board left a suburban Boston station, traveled through four other stations without stopping before it was disabled, transit officials said Thursday.

No passengers were injured, and the possibility of tampering is being investigated, said Frank DePaola, general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

"Passenger safety is the highest priority for the MBTA and this highly troubling incident is under investigation by Transit Police detectives," DePaola said in a statement.

An initial investigation indicated that a safety device within the train's cab may have been tampered with.

MBTA operations disabled the train and brought it to a stop by cutting off power to the electrified third rail, according to the statement.

The Red Line train departed Braintree Station — the southernmost stop of the line — shortly after 6 a.m. without an operator and traveling north toward Boston, the statement said.

Transit personnel boarded the train after it was stopped and drove it north to the JFK/UMass stop, where passengers disembarked. The train was taken out of service and brought to a maintenance facility in Boston, where an investigation is under way, according to Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the transit agency.

Passengers are among those being interviewed, the T said.