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Near-Tragedy Shuts Down Subway Service at Dufferin



Details are still sketchy, but early reports indicate that a tragic incident may have shut down subway service at Dufferin station earlier this hour, forcing subways to turn back at Ossington and Keele stations and shuttle buses to be pressed into service to fill the gap. There have been suggestions that two youths engaged in horse play (update: these reports erroneous, see below) almost paid the ultimate price. Service will remain disrupted for at least an hour, and possibly longer if the accident scene becomes part of a criminal investigation.

(Update: 5:04 p.m.): Miraculously, the two youths who found themselves under the train have survived with only minor injuries but you can expect service to remain disrupted while the police investigation continues.

(Update: 5:11 p.m.): Dufferin station is now officially a crime scene. One male is in custody, accused of pushing two youths onto the subway tracks. At present, there is no estimated time for the resumption of subway service.

(Update: 5:22 p.m.): As it is not known when service will resume, commuters should consider alternate arrangements if their current travel patterns involve using the Bloor-Danforth subway between Ossington and Keele. Unfortunately, alternates are hard to come by for this section of the subway. Shuttle buses are operating between Ossington and Keele, but these buses are unlikely to be able to cope with the sheer amount of traffic the subway will unleash at these points. Using the Dundas and King streetcars may be a possibility, but they end up coming up short at Dundas West station, forcing a transfer to the shuttle service, or walking to Keele station. Another option might be to board the 506 Carlton streetcar, and walk north from High Park loop (or board a northbound 80 Queensway) to Keele station.

Other creative ways to getting to the west end of the Bloor-Danforth subway could include boarding the GO Milton train at Union for the quick run to Kipling station, or the 501 Queen or 508 Lakeshore streetcars and transferring to the 66 Prince Edward bus at Park Lawn or Humber to travel to Old Mill station.

Otherwise, this is one of those days when Toronto commuters will unfortunately have to grin and bear the delay.

(Update: 6:01 p.m.): The investigation has closed and service has resumed.

(Update: Saturday, 8:05 a.m.): The media is filling in the details of this incident. Check out stories here and here. Police have accused Adenir DeOliveira, 47, of shoving two teenage boys in front of a subway train in an unprovoked attack. A third youth was also shoved, but did not fall onto the tracks. The man was not known to any of the youths (though is known to police), and he now faces two counts of assault and three counts of attempted murder.

The boys, aged 14 and 15, found themselves on the eastbound tracks about a third of the way through the station as the train entered. The driver of the train saw them and hit the brakes, but could not stop in time. Quick thinking on the part of one youth saved the other as he pulled his friend other to safety beneath the overhang of the platform. Thus the 14-year-old escaped major injury, though the 15-year-old still ended up getting his foot caught and crushed under the train.

The accused attacker then tried to leave the station, but was followed to the mezzanine by the teenagers’ friends. At the mezzanine, the accused is said to have assaulted a TTC collector before running out onto Dufferin Street where the collector and another patron gave chase, before catching him and holding him until police arrived.

It appears quick thinking and brave acts by a number of individuals prevented this incident from becoming a worse tragedy than it was.