U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) was nearly hit by an Amtrak train on Friday -- during a press conference about the importance of commuter rail safety.
Blumenthal was standing behind Milford Mayor Ben Blake on a train platform as the mayor launched into a presentation about keeping train commuters safe. Just as Blake said "Safety as you know, is paramount," an Amtrak train roared past, nearly clipping Blumenthal, who was standing a little too close to the platform edge.
A video of the near-accident shows Blake and Blumenthal then fumbling to recover a chart, blown off its stand by the passing train.
Blumenthal, who appears to laugh off the mishap in the video footage, released data Friday on the staggering fines incurred by Metro-North over the past decade for safety violations.
“The sheer number of violations is staggering -- 139 violations totaling $552,000 in fines since 2004 -- encompassing serious lapses in safety standards and procedures," Blumenthal said in a statement. "While not every reported defect is a serious safety threat, the magnitude of violations is deeply troubling. Per 100 miles of track, Metro-North had five times the number of safety defects than any other commuter railroad in the country, a truly shameful record.”
Two Metro-North trains derailed last year. One derailment left four people dead.