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Passenger killed Sunday on the Red Line was exiting the train at the time, NTSB says

The Broadway T station in Boston.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Robinson Lalin was exiting the Red Line train Sunday at the time of the tragedy that claimed his life, the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday.

Little else is known about the death.

Earlier this week spokesperson for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, James Borghesani, said a passenger got stuck in the doorway of an inbound Red Line train at the Broadway Station at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, was dragged a short distance, and died as a result. He was later identified as Lalin.

Spokesperson for the NTSB, Keith Holloway said the agency is reviewing surveillance footage.

NTSB investigators wrapped up their on-the-scene work by Thursday and returned to Washington, D.C., Holloway said. The agency does not yet know how many passengers were on the train or on the platform at the time, he said. But he did say via e-mail, “the passenger was exiting the train at the time of the accident.”

The car involved in Lalin’s death was put into service in 1969 or 1970, the T said earlier this week. Doors on MBTA subway cars are supposed to reopen if obstructed, and trains are not meant to accelerate unless all doors are closed, experts said.

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“The NTSB is not in a position to determine the safety of the system or doors of MBTA or any railroad,” Holloway said via e-mail. “NTSB looks at each accident as an isolated event and does not conduct periodic inspections. That is not the role of the NTSB.”

MBTA board members charged with overseeing safety at the agency did not ask T staff any questions about Lalin’s death at their regularly scheduled public meeting Thursday.

On Friday, MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo declined a request for an interview with General Manager Steve Poftak about the safety of the transit system.

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“Implored by the NTSB to not make comments regarding any elements of the ongoing investigation, the MBTA will continue to respect the federal agency’s directive,” Pesaturo said via e-mail Friday.

Pesaturo said the Red Line cars and all of their components, including doors, are safe.

On Thursday evening, Lalin’s nephew Kelvin Lalin lit a candle at a small memorial he created at Broadway station. He and his family said they are frustrated that they have not heard from anyone at the MBTA about how Lalin died.

A Globe review of news archives found that several people have been injured after getting stuck in subway doors on the MBTA system since the 1990s.

Lalin’s death is the latest in a recent series of safety problems on the MBTA, including the January death of a woman whose car was hit by a commuter rail train when the crossing gates and flashing lights meant to keep cars off the tracks in Wilmington did not activate in time.

The NTSB will provide a preliminary report about Lalin’s death in the next few weeks, Holloway said. A report about the cause could take one to two years.


Taylor Dolven can be reached at taylor.dolven@globe.com. Follow her @taydolven.