Saturday, June 22, 2024

The scene of an MBTA red line rider’s injury Monday at Harvard Square, where a utility box slid down a column. (Photo: Laura St via Twitter)

Exactly two months after a water-soaked soundproofing ceiling tile nearly fell on an MBTA red line rider, a ceiling utility box “became dislodged” and hit someone Monday. Both incidents took place on the southbound platform of the station at Harvard Square.

The box became dislodged around 4:30 p.m. and slid down a column, hitting a woman standing beside the column. The rider was was hit by a supporting bracket and was taken to Mount Auburn hospital for evaluation while staff quickly “closed the area for safety,” the MBTA said via social media.

While Red Line service continues, “we are working to determine what caused the equipment to detach from its mounting,” the MBTA said.

Riders’ response online showed skepticism.

“One of these days, someone is going to be hurt real bad,” said a Twitter user identified as Laura St on a post with a photo of the fallen box.

On March 1, it was a ceiling tile that fell – one of the 5-pound aluminum panels that went up around 1980 to improve the looks of the station and to add soundproofing. Engineers for the state transit agency said they found that over time water had accumulated in the panel’s insulated backing and corroded the metal rivets holding it in place. The panel that fell wound up weighing around 25 pounds before the rivets gave way.

Aging infrastructure has caused problems elsewhere on the line. In August 2018, around 500 spaces of the 2,500-parking-space garage at Alewife station was cordoned off after a chunk of ceiling concrete fell through the window of a car. No one was hurt. The garage opened in 1985.