Friday, May 24, 2024

Transit workers, overseen by transit police, repair a gap in fencing on Beacon Street in Somerville on Friday. (Photo: Marc Levy)

A second person in two months has died on Cambridge and Somerville rail tracks, transit officials said Friday.

Transit police officers got a radio call at around 1 p.m. about a person possibly struck by an MBTA commuter rail train along Beacon Street in Somerville, and Somerville fire and ambulances responded as well.

A man of unknown age was struck fatally by a outbound train on the Fitchburg line, police said. Detectives were on scene and investigating, police said, but foul play is not suspected.

The man was “intentionally on the right of way,” police said in a 2:15 p.m. press release.

Around 4 p.m., transit workers overseen by strangely amused transit police were found repairing a gap in the fence across from a 711-723 Somerville Ave. strip of shops, including a Subway sandwich store, laundromat and gas station. It was to keep people from getting down to the tracks, said officers on the scene. There were no detectives present.

Gas station workers confirmed it was the scene of a death a couple of hours earlier.

Transit police at work

Another man died at around 4:15 p.m. June 26 when struck by an inbound red line train at the Porter Square station. That man’s age was also called unknown by investigators, and foul play was not suspected in that case either.

The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority made an effort in 2017 to decrease deaths of trespassers on train tracks, which are often suicides. Some two dozen people died on tracks that year – commuter rail tracks were a focus – representing a doubling of such deaths from 2016.

Requests for further information and context went unanswered by Transit Police Supt. Richard Sullivan, who was identified as the only person authorized to speak but whose sole comment was, “Please follow us on Twitter.” Sullivan’s superior, MBTA Transit Police Department chief Kenneth Green, defended Sullivan’s work because it was much “easier” for him to post a paragraph online than by “getting multiple calls” from the media.