Multnomah County

Loose screw caused Portland Streetcar crash

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- A loose screw caused a streetcar crash in Portland on May 24, an investigation found.

The Portland Streetcar collided with two cars at 1:10 p.m. on Southeast Grand Avenue at Taylor Street, injuring one person and causing the streetcar to derail. The crash injured one person and damaged two cars.

The investigation found that a screw in the assembly of the streetcar’s master controller came loose and lodged in the handle mechanism, preventing the operator from stopping. The operator noticed an issue and reported it to the dispatcher but wasn't able to stop the car from crashing. They did sound their horn before the crash. 

KOIN 6 News learned that the streetcar was inspected the day before, but there was no report of a problem with the controller at that time.

Portland Streetcar said they contacted the manufacturer of the master controller to help prevent future issues. 

"Moving forward we will use a lock tight type of glue to make sure it doesn't come loose," Dan Bower, executive director of Portland Streetcar, said.

In their preventative maintenance plan, they'll make sure the specific screw involved is regularly inspected.

The derailed streetcar is still out of commission. However, the five other ones with the same controller have been inspected and are secure.


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