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Robinson Lalin Identified As Man Killed After Getting Arm Trapped In Door Of Red Line Train In South Boston

BOSTON (CBS) - The man who died after getting trapped in the door of a Red Line train was identified Monday by the MBTA as 39-year-old Robinson Lalin of Boston.

The Suffolk District Attorney's Office said Lalin got his arm stuck in the door of the inbound train as it pulled away from the platform at the Broadway station in South Boston around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. He was dragged a short distance and was killed. The D.A.'s office said foul play is not suspected.

A spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said investigators arrived at the scene Monday to begin their investigation.

"I'm going to miss everything about him," Robinson's nephew Kelvin Lalin said. "He always lit up the room everywhere he went. He's loved by everyone."

His family says Robinson rode the T every day and they're left wondering how this could have happened.

robinson lalin
Robinson Lalin (Family photo)

"I want to know. I want to find out what happened to Robinson. How can it be possible to die like that? When he put his hand [out], nobody saw that?" his aunt Neny Norales said.

WBZ spoke with one man who was at the station that night. He said there's usually someone making sure everyone is safely in the train.

"They got a guy who flashes a light and everything and I take it late night all the time," said Dan Twome.

The MBTA hasn't said what the protocol was that night or if there are sensors on the train that should have kept the doors from closing. Answers the family, wants to know.

"It's very unfortunate that I had to say goodbye to him in this way," Kelvin Lalin said.

An MBTA spokesperson said the train operator will remain off duty "while the investigation advances."

"As NTSB, Transit Police and the MBTA Safety Department work to establish the facts, the investigation includes, but is not limited to, collecting statements from witnesses, reviewing any images captured by cameras, and examining vehicle maintenance and inspections records," the spokesperson told WBZ-TV in an email.

A transportation safety organization says the MBTA needs more transparency to make riders feel safe after incidents like this.

"There's a lot of fear, there's a lot of frustration because what happens is you have these one-off instances and the public feels like they don't have information and that's what leads to the sense that the T isn't safe," said Stacy Thompson Executive Director of LivableStreets Alliance.

Robert Sumwalt, the former chairman of the NTSB, said riders should be assured if federal investigators find a problem with the trains, they will fix it immediately.

"The NTSB's highest priority will be to make sure this is not a systemic issue," Sumwalt told WBZ. "If there is a systemic issue found, they will act very quickly to make sure that this issue is corrected immediately."

Sumwalt said the entire investigation could take up to a year.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu was asked about the fatality during a press conference on Monday afternoon.

"It's just a horrible, horrible tragedy and we've been in touch with the MBTA and we're following closely the investigation that's happening," she said.

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