Sabotage suspected in runaway train near Boston

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An MBTA passenger train that left a train station near Boston without a driver is believed to have been tampered with, officials say.

The incident happened at about 6:08 a.m. ET on Thursday when a Red Line train departed Braintree Station in Braintree without an operator. The train, which was carrying several dozen passengers, proceeded past North Quincy Station before MBTA personnel de-powered the rail, bringing the train to a complete stop.

Personnel boarded the train and operated it to JFK/UMass, where passengers were asked to exit the train. None of the passengers were injured during the ride and no accidents occurred, but an investigation has been launched to determine how the train was able to depart without an operator.

“This train was tampered with and it was tampered with by somebody who knew what they were doing,” Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said, speaking on Boston Herald Radio. MBTA confirmed that an initial investigation had shown that a safety device within the train’s cab “may have been tampered with.”

Other details were not immediately released, but MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola called the incident “highly troubling.” Witnesses and the man who was supposed to operate the train are being interviewed by investigators.

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