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Metro says contractor responsible for light rail accident

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By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Officials with the transit agency Metro now say a loose overhead power line caused a MetroLink train's electrical pickup mechanism to break on Monday.

The device, known as a pantograph, swung down from the roof of the train and broke a window. Five passengers suffered minor injuries.

The accident happened near the Forest Park station, where the new cross county extension connects to the rest of the system.

Metro President Larry Salci said there was not enough tension on the power line.

"The overhead catenary wire is maintained at a tension of about 6,000 pounds, and somehow one of the weights through the work of our contractor wasn't what it should have been," Salci said.

Salci said this is the first time such an accident has happened on a MetroLink train.

On Wednesday, Metro received a safety certification from MODOT for the light rail extension.

The new line to Shrewsbury is scheduled to open Saturday.

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