A day of tragedy, a night of courage: Russell Hill 20 years ago
On Aug. 11, 2015, the Safety Executive Meeting at Head Office began with CEO Andy Byford calling for a moment of silence to recognize the 20th anniversary of the Russell Hill Subway Train Accident, and honour the memory of those who were killed and injured on this day 20 years ago.
On Fri., Aug. 11, 1995, at 6:02 p.m., a southbound subway train (Run 35) crashed into a stationary subway train in the subway tunnel between St Clair West and Dupont stations. The crash occurred near the Russell Hill emergency exit. Three passengers were killed and more than 30 others injured.
The vivid images of Toronto’s worst subway accident will long be remembered. But so too will the army of determined and tireless TTC employees who, after giving their all, gave even more.
The following message to employees was written by Chief General Manager David Gunn in memory of the three victims who perished on Aug. 11:
The true test of humanity is born out of tragedy, and at no time in TTC history was this more evident than on Fri., Aug. 11, 1995.
From the immediate response by Metro and TTC emergency crews to the overwhelming assistance and caring of the community, the outpouring illuminated the darkness of tragedy.
My gratitude goes out to all TTC employees who worked so hard in extraordinarily difficult conditions.
I have had the misfortune to witness subway tragedies in other cities, and I know from experience that important lessons will be learned.
I meet and talk with many of you on a daily basis and I know we share a sense of loss.
Working for the TTC is more than “just a job” for us … this tragedy affects us all personally.
On behalf of the Commission and all TTC employees, I extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of our customers, who died or were injured on that fateful Friday evening.
Chief General Manager