PORTLAND, Ore. - A 3-year-old boy was left stranded at a MAX platform when a door on the train malfunctioned, separating the toddler from his dad.
The incident happened Monday, Nov. 16 at the S.E. Main Street Station.
According to TriMet, as the boy was getting off the train, he pushed the accessible ramp button on the door, causing it to open and then close again to deploy the ramp. TriMet officials say the door should have reopened but it didn't and the father and son were separated. They are investigating, saying the ramp deployment process may have been overridden by the operator, causing it to be interrupted.
“He (the operator) may have said, ‘Mmm, don’t know that’s needed and may have just stopped that whole process,” says TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch.
A woman who was standing on the platform tried to get the door to open, but couldn't and the train took off. She ended up staying with the boy until his father returned seven minutes later from a returning train.
The father says he tried to push the intercom button inside the train to contact the operator but got no response.
“”Every time I pushed that door - the button - it did nothing,” says the boy’s father Aaron Bailey. “I went right over to the emergency intercom button and I pushed that frantically, and I got no answer. I pushed it again - no answer. I did this about 10 times with no answer.
“You can imagine how I felt. Not only was my son left on the train – a platform by himself with a complete stranger, I could not get a hold of anybody on the train to let them know what was going on.”
TriMet officials say it appears there was a malfunction with the intercom. TriMet officials say a fleet-wide inspection of intercoms will be conducted.
Fetsch says the operators do check to see what’s happening on the platforms before taking off again but Fetsch says the operator may of thought the boy was with the woman.
TriMet says they do have clear protocols for dealing with this type of a situation and once the operator was made aware of what happened, those protocols were followed. TriMet says they have been in contact with the father and did apologize to him. They also gave him two free annual passes.
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