UPDATES: Translink says employee who caused latest Skytrain meltdown has been suspended

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

Translink says it was an employee who caused yesterday’s massive Skytrain shutdown.

An electrician installing a circuit breaker for the new Evergreen Line accidentally tripped up the main breaker feeding the Skytrain operations centre.

The power outage halted trains and made it difficult for announcements to be made over the PA system.

That employee has now been suspended.

Meanwhile, union leaders are quickly speaking out in his defence.

The man’s name hasn’t been released, but he’s being described as a longtime employee.

Tony Rebelo with Cupe 7000 says the suspension is disturbing because this was clearly an accident and the work being done was ordered by management.

“Management directed our member to do the work on this panel, despite knowing the panel’s poor design and the high risk of failing while it was worked on live. At this time, we feel the company failed to do a risk assessment of the work that was going to be undertaken on such a highly critical piece of electrical equipment.”

Rebelo also says the worker shouldn’t have been suspended before the investigation was complete.

Passengers were waiting for as long as five hours for the system to return to normal, or for a bus to arrive and take them on an alternate route.

Translink chief operating officer Doug Kelsey admits having two major, unrelated disruptions in less than a week is “unprecedented,” but he insists the system is reliable most of the time.

“To keep this system running safely, which we did yesterday, we will be reviewing our operating practises, as well, to try to minimize this from happening again.”

Kelsey also says mistakes are bound to happen

“Anytime you have electronics, nature, people and power together, sometimes things go wrong.”

Despite the epic delays, he says there is no need to cost taxpayers millions of dollars by changing the power structure.

“We will look at our practices, I think that’s just good business as anybody should. But, we will not revisit the power structure.”

Customers are being compensated with a free day of transit on Monday, Aug. 4, the B.C. Day holiday.

Kelsey says he understands not everyone’s going to be satisfied with a free day of travel on a holiday, but:

“We think BC Day is a very good day for this and no matter when you do it, it may not be appropriate for everybody. It is going to take us a number of days to get ready.

“We are going to staff up for this and we think B.C. Day is also a good day. A lot of people will be using the system because they in fact may not be working.”

Comments

  1. Will the left wing loonies still demand someone should be fired now, as it was a union brother that caused the problem?
    This is going to be hard for the likes of Ken280 and his ilk. It wasn’t Translink bosses after all.

    • Good point. I’m always amazed how so many justify an annoyance by going so far overboard. It was inconvenient, frustrating and people were late for things. Stuff happens. People trip. Let’s move on.

    • after the incompetent goof knocked it off-line and said “OOPS”, you would think he would have the brains to phone someone and let them know what happened. But then again , it was probably the end of his shift and he figured , what the hell , let someone else try to figure it out !!

      The first rule in troubleshooting any electrical appliance problem, is to make sure the unit is “plugged in ” !! (see step one in any Manual !!!)
      Somehow that step got overlooked and every other incompetent fool in the organisation started looking for something technical.

    • haha! you never read the story there D-wight he was ordered to do the work from management. It wasn’t Translink bosses after all where did you read this?Please! enlighten me?

      • So I suppose if you ask your mechanic to fix your muffler and he accidentally blows your car up in the process, it’s your fault for using him? After all, it was you who told him to fix it.
        If it was a simple mistake, I’d say any suspension is over-kill.

    • As a boss I take responsibility for any screw ups, you liberal supporters never want to take the heat.You order the man to work on a panel and he does want he is told to do. I see you never worked around a hot panel show’s me something. I work around hot wires and panel every day, phase 1-3 110/ 120, 240/347, volts. Some houses in Vancouver are on a 3-phase 347volt,Not hard to figure out that a sensitive panel needs to be shut down or you die! If he did you would still blame the worker,The right wingers speed and if he does not do it or something goes wrong you call him incompetent.then say Canadians are not good workers.

  2. ooohhhh… the BC Day holiday Monday is our free day. The one day when none of the commuters who were inconvenienced these 2 times in the past 5 days will get to take advantage of this. Give us a Monday, but an actual working/business Monday, not a Stat holiday. Bloody cheapskates.

  3. What a bunch of crap , this jerk didn’t know that he tripped the main , and so what if it’s hot , that’s what hot sticks are for , Installing new , where’s your lock out ?

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