Transit supervisor killed on tracks in Queens

April 26, 2010 5:19:35 PM PDT
A transit worker died in an accident on the subway tracks in the Rockaway section of Queens Monday morning. The accident happened 4:30 Monday morning.

Officials said track Supervisor James Knell, 45, came into contact with the electrified third rail at the Beach 90th Street A S Station in Queens.

Knell, an MTA New York City Transit employee for 13 years and a Supervisor for the past 9 years, was part of the crew working on a station rehabilitation project in the Rockaways.

He was killed instantly.

The incident occurred shortly before the area was to be returned to service for the Monday morning rush.

A and S trains were suspended between Rockaway Park-Beach 116 Street and Broad Channel stations. Shuttle bus service was set up.

"We lost one of our own this morning and labeling this incident a tragedy is a painful statement of the obvious," said MTA NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast.

An investigation is underway to determine what led to the accident.

James Knell was a resident of East Rockaway, Long Island. He is survived by his wife and two step-children.

In a statement, the MTA wrote, "The thoughts and prayers of the entire MTA NYC Transit family are with the extended family, friends and loved ones of Supervisor Knell during this difficult time."

A transit spokesman says it's their first fatality in three years.