1,000 gather for Toronto transit worker's funeral mass
Toronto transit vehicles stop at 11 a.m. in show of respect
A co-worker injured in the same accident that claimed the life of a Toronto transit worker broke down during a funeral mass Monday morning, weeping and beating on the casket as it sat in the hearse.
The man cried out, calling on God to take Antonio Almeida into his hands.
"I tried to help him… I couldn't," he said softly as he sat down in a wheelchair and was pushed away.
He was amongabout 1,000 family, friends and co-workers who gathered around 9:30 a.m. ET topay tributeto the 38-year-old man killed in a subway crash last Monday.
A Toronto Transit Commission guard of honour saluted Almeida's casket as it was carried out of St. Anthony's Catholic Church on Bloor Street West.
"We're all gonna miss him a lot," said a fellow crew member who didn't give his name. "He was a great guy. The TTC lost an exceptional employee and we lost a great human being."
Mayor David Miller, who also attended, called Almeida's death a "real tragedy."
"Mr. Almeida was a terrific employee. He's got young children and an accident like this shouldn't happen. Our workers deserve to be safe," Miller said.
Almeidaleaves behindhiswife and two children —an eight-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter.
Minute of silence on TTC vehicles
He was crushed in an accident last Monday when a piece of equipment on a flatbed car fell on top of the work subway carAlmeida was operating. He was part of a crew removing asbestos from tunnel walls.
To pay tribute to the worker, the TTC's entire system — all streetcars, subway cars and buses — stopped and opened their doors for a minute of silence at 11 a.m. ET.
"We want to honour the life and work of Antonio Almeida. We're all shaken up by the accident," said Coun. Joe Mihevc, vice-chair of the Toronto Transit Commission.
"It's also a way of us saying that there's no job out there … that we can't do safely."