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MBTA begins removing ceiling panels at Harvard station, like the one that almost beaned a rider

Panels fall inches from woman's head at Harvard

Panel falls in a cloud of dust in front of woman, who then looks up, in T surveillance video.

The MBTA has begun removing ceiling panels at the Harvard Red Line station after one of the 20-to-25-pound panels fell ten feet to the platform, narrowly missing a rider - and plans inspections of all its ceiling panels at all its stations to reduce the need for riders to worry about getting hit in the head with one, interim MBTA General Manager Jeff Gonneville said today.

MBTA has been removing panels at Harvard (photo by MBTA):

Removing panels at Harvard

Gonneville, who said he is very thankful the water-soaked panel missed the rider, said a preliminary investigation showed that steel brackets holding up the panel had corroded, enough that it fell right in front of a woman about to head up the stairs from the platform around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, missing her by inches:

Gonneville said a 2021 inspection showed no obvious problems with the panels, installed in 1978 for aesthetics and to provide some sound insulation. He said panels are being removed to make it easier for inspectors to spot any problems in the ceiling above, and that removal won't affect the overall safety of stations because they are not part of station's core structure.

"Obviously, aesthetics are important, but the safety of these stations, the safety of the system, is of greater importance," he said.

He said he hopes to have the systemwide panel audit completed within two weeks.

So far, about 10 of the 400 to 500 panels at Harvard have been removed, he said.

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Comments

I fear the state of the T is so much worse than we all know.

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"Hey, the thing we didn't know about that could have killed someone, that's fixed! And that's the only thing! That we know about!"

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"Wait, did I get off at Alewife?"

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I love how she almost got hit, looked down for a moment, and just kept on going!

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"I must have missed my stop, this is clearly not the United States."

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Which could indicate black mold which could close Harvard station till the mold is removed

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Or is it ... the removal won't affect the overall safety of stations because they remain unsafe for dozens of other reasons that won't be addressed until something else fails.

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Perhaps the T should issue hard hats to anyone who plans to walk through any of the stations.

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The guy claiming this happed to him on Twitter was clearly full of it.

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He was already on the stairs when the thing fell - behind him.

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Peter D'Angelo is the guy two steps ahead of the falling tile, and posted about this on Twitter and was quoted in the Globe.

In the previous thread about this an anonymous poster claimed that he was just "being dramatic" and was probably nowhere around when the tile fell.

Looks like "anon" owes him an apology.

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They wait till stuff breaks or worse, kills or injures someone, before making a plan for repairs.

This is so awful.

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I'm so glad (and frankly astonished) that nobody was hurt by getting whacked. But that cloud of blackness--EGADS.

If I were one of these folks, I'd have my lungs autoclaved immediately. Or D & Ced. Or whatever you can do here...even that UV light Trump wanted everyone to use....

It makes me cough just to watch that video.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson is so perfectly right when he reminds us to look up above at the sky. Our man Adam G. has shown us that it is important to look up above at so many decaying interiors of the MBTA stations. Then, run for cover.

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but but that part of Harvard Station didn't exist until 1983.

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Does that mean the panels are a preexisting condition?

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Please, don’t confuse them with the facts.

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It's just 5 years. Who will actually know that we haven't done maintenance since the Nixon administration?

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As someone who was attending a certain school nearby in the early 80s, that comment drew my attention also.

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Red line is currently closed at Broadway to JFK...as usual

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Maintenance and stuff.

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I'm not the litigious type, but that young lady could complain of stress-related sleeplessness, anxiety, etc. and sue for at least a lifetime Charlie card.

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I heard it's called "The Gold Card". Unfortunately I have no facts to back that rumor up.

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