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Published March 5, 2024

Two teens on railway tracks struck and killed by Toronto UP Express train: police

Commuters wait for the Union Person Express train at a west-end Toronto stop during the morning commute Wednesday, April 5, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

A packed Toronto airport commuter train struck and killed a 14-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy Monday night, officials said, as investigators worked to piece together how the teens ended up on the tracks.

"This is a tragic incident," said Martin Gallagher, the chief operating officer for Metrolinx, the provincial agency that operates the train between Toronto Pearson Airport and downtown Union Station. 

More than 200 people were on the UP Express Monday night headed toward the airport when the train crashed into the teens on a stretch of tracks between stations, officials said. 

Toronto police Insp. Keri Fernandes said the questions of why the teens were on the tracks and whether there was any criminal activity involved had not been "completely uncovered yet." 

"It's an ongoing investigation," she said during a news conference on Tuesday morning. 

Police responded to reports of the crash shortly after 10 p.m. near Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue West. Fernandes said the first 911 call came from the train operators. 

"These incidents are traumatic for both the families of the victims and the persons involved in the train," she said. 

Metrolinx said passengers on the train were held on board for about two hours while police investigated. They were then let off at Mount Dennis station. UP Express trains were suspended for the rest of the night, with buses running instead, but rail service resumed Tuesday morning. 

Gallagher, who also serves as Metrolinx's chief safety and security office, said one of the agency's priorities would be to "manage the mental health of those involved," adding the operators would be off work for "a period of time." 

He also played up the agency's efforts to try to deter people from crossing railway lines on its "long, large network." He said the agency places fencing and foliage around parts of the network, does outreach work in schools to discuss the dangers of trespassing and works with police to enforce offences when necessary.

"We take this very seriously and we do a lot to deter people from crossing railway lines," he said. 

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