HOUSTON At least one passenger said a Metro bus driver had the green light just before colliding witha light rail trainMonday near the St. Joseph Medical Center in downtown Houston.
It happened around 2:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Parkway and Main Street, the same spot as a similar crash in February.
Nineteen people were taken to area hospitals after the crash, including the drivers of the bus and train.None of the injuries was serious, according to Metro officials.
The cause of the accident was not clear, but it appearedthe bus hit the first car of the train, knocking it slightly off the tracks.
One man, who said he was a passenger on the bus, blamed the train operator.
We had a green light so why should we stop? said Shane Walker. The train just kept coming.
We ve raised issues about these signal controls and whether they re properly operated by the controller on the train, and this kind of supports our thoughts that there s maybe a problem, said David Gollinger with the Transport Workers Union.
Well, obviously the investigation will be looking at the signal timing, said Metro spokeswoman Raequel Roberts. The train has cameras. The bus has cameras. We ll be looking at all of these elements to see if there is some common thread here or if it was an unfortunate fluke.
Janet Gates was a passenger on the light rail train.
You just got to pray every day, because you never know what will happen from one moment to the next, Gates said.
Both accidents happened in front of Metro's headquarters.
Metro investigators are looking into whether there are other common denominators in the two crashes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Last month, a similar collision between a bus and light rail train sent nine people to the hospital. In that accident, the bus apparently ran a red light and struck the train.