Los Angeles Metro Blue Line and MTA bus collide near downtown

August 27, 2012 (LOS ANGELES)

The crash happened at 6:55 a.m. MTA bus line 51 was travelling southbound on San Pedro Street when it collided with the train. About 40 passengers were on the bus and 32 people were transported to nearby hospitals. The fire department says the injuries were minor and no life-threatening injuries were reported. Most of those injured were on the Blue Line.

"The chief complaint was neck and back pain," said Los Angeles Fire Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas.

Crews continued to repair a traffic signal taken out by the bus during the crash. Live wires were exposed upon impact. Firefighters said it was extremely lucky that a fire hydrant next to the signal was also not taken out. They say that could have caused a repeat situation of a deadly accident in Valley Village in which two people were electrocuted.

Passengers on a train following behind the one that was struck described the frightening crash.

"The whole train just kind of shook real hard. They slammed the breaks on the train I was in, and we all hit ourselves and they told us we had to get out," said Javier Lazo, who also said he suffered knee pain following the accident. Lazo said he could not see if the bus or the train had the right of way.

The intersection was closed for several hours following the accident. Metro shuttled Blue Line passengers on busses until the trains could resume service.

"The Blue Line is one of the most important lines in the country," said Metro spokesperson Jose Ubaldo. "We carry around 80 to 85,000 people every single day, so the impact is really huge for the public."

Authorities will examine video footage to determine who is at fault.

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