TransLink and SPCA investigating dog's death on SkyTrain tracks
Panicked dog spooked by fireworks fled onto SkyTrain tracks where she was hit and killed Saturday
After conflicting reports on exactly how a dog died on the SkyTrain tracks at Nanaimo station, TransLink and the B.C. SPCA are launching their own investigations.
The dog, a 10-year-old Chow-Labrador cross named Maggie, was in the off-leash area in Trout Lake Park Saturday when she became frightened by fireworks.
She bolted towards the Nanaimo SkyTrain station, ultimately ending up on the platform, and then on the tracks.
TransLink staff said they stopped the trains and tried to coax her off the tracks. They told owner Ali Fluevog the dog ran back, and was hit by a train.
Then, anonymous rumours emerged alleging TransLink staff had decided to run the trains before they had secured the dog.
Vivienne King, president of the B.C. Rapid Transit Company — which maintains and operates two of three SkyTrain lines — said its safety department is launching a full investigation into the incident.
"It's really important that I have all the facts available to me and over the last day or so I've had some conflicting information," she said.
The safety unit is independent of the operations unit and is qualified in investigating different incidents, she said.
It will also be reviewing whether TransLink followed its protocol for track intrusions.
"We have a process where we stop trains — which they did, I know that for a fact. They enter the guideway and check what's going on," she explained.
King said she wouldn't comment further until the investigation is finished.
B.C. SPCA also investigating
The B.C. SPCA is also launching its own investigation into the incident after receiving a complaint.
"We can't share the details of the investigation, but we can definitely confirm a file is open and an investigation is ongoing," said spokesperson Lorie Chortyk.
The animal welfare organization conducts more than 10,000 investigations every year, Chortyk explained. Investigations are triggered by a complaint or concern that an animal may be in distress or if someone has caused distress to an animal.
It investigates in the same manner as a police file, gathering evidence and eyewitness testimony.
"If we believe charges are warranted, we would forward that file to crown counsel."
TransLink said officials are cooperating with the SPCA investigation.