MTA: Workers’ “Stupidity” Caused Massive Drill Bit To Hit The F Train

November 18, 2014 | Prachi Gupta

Remember that massive drill bit that nearly punctured a passenger-filled F train in October? Well, the MTA has investigated the incident, and concluded the official cause was “stupidity.”

MTA Capital Construction president Michael Horodniceanu addressed the accident on Monday, Newsday reports. Construction workers from Tutor Perini were hired to drill drainage holes in the ground near 23rd Street and 41st Avenue in Long Island City as part of the East Side Access project. The workers missed their mark by 12 feet, sending the 10-inch drill bit into the F train tunnel. Even after they hit the tunnel, they didn’t stop. Thankfully, the drill bit only scraped the side of the train, and none of the 800 people on board were harmed. It was entirely preventable, though, according to Horodniceanu, and happened as a result of a “double failure” on part of the contractors:

“The procedure says when you hit something, you’re supposed to stop and find out what is going on . . . They did not stop. They just continued to go and they went through the roof of the tunnel,” said Horodniceanu, adding that the workers had not properly flagged the drill locations. “It’s very hard sometimes to battle stupidity. In this case, I don’t know what else to call it.”

The egregious error has resulted in a “major reorganization” at the construction firm, which is earning $1 billion from the $10 billion project. The East Side Access project is slated to finish by 2022, building an 8-track LIRR terminal at Grand Central Terminal. Let’s hope there are no more rogue drill incidents between now and then.

(Photo: MTA)