Union Station commuter dragged to death under train

A fatal accident unfolded on a train platform in Toronto when a man became caught on a passing train and ended up underneath it, police said Wednesday.

RBC confirms 31-year-old victim was an employee

Train death investigation continues

8 years ago
Duration 2:43
GO Transit officials urge commuters to be careful on platforms after 31-year-old struck and dragged to his death at Union Station.

A fatal accident unfolded on a train platform in Toronto when a man became caught on a passing train and ended up underneath it, police said Wednesday.

RBC employee Daniel Panacci was identified as the man who died Tuesday after his backpack became hooked on a GO train leaving Union Station. (Twitter)

The commuter was walking on a platform at Toronto's Union Station during the Tuesday afternoon rush hour, when a train bound for Barrie, Ont., began leaving the downtown transit hub.

The man became caught on the train as it passed by, and he was "dragged and subsequently fell under the train," police say.

The commuter, who died at the scene, has been identified as Daniel Panacci, an IT professional who worked for RBC.

​"We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident," RBC spokesman Don Blair told CBC News in an email on Wednesday. "Our thoughts are with our colleague's family during this very difficult time."

Video 'a small piece of the investigation'

Panacci's death was captured on video, which police have obtained.

Const. Clint Stibbe said the video was "only a small piece of the investigation," as it does not have sound and provides only a single perspective of what happened.

Stibbe said that the man had become hooked on the train at a part of the platform that was near an elevator.

"It is a narrowing portion of the platform, however, there are still safety areas that are in place," he said. "Provided you abide by those, there shouldn't be a concern."

The constable said he could not say precisely how wide the platform was where the man was standing.

Greg Percy, the president of GO Transit, said in a statement issued Wednesday that an initial investigation by police suggested "the man's bag became caught on the train as it was leaving the station."

When Stibbe was asked about this detail, he said only that the incident remains under investigation.

Similarly, Stibbe would not confirm if Panacci had been wearing headphones or using a phone at the time of the accident.

"I'm not going to get into his actions per se, because that is something we are looking at," he said.

Call for witnesses

Stibbe said police want to hear from any witnesses about the incident.

"Even if you think enough people have called, that's not good enough," he said. "If you did see something, we are still asking that you contact us."

GO Transit, the regional public transit service of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, is an operating division of Metrolinx, which is an agency of the provincial government.

Bruce McCuaig, the president and CEO of Metrolinx, issued a statement Wednesday expressing condolences to the family of the victim and to those affected by the tragedy.

"I would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest sympathies over this tragic incident. I cannot stress how saddened we are," he said in the statement. "Our hearts go out to the individual's loved ones during this very difficult time, as well as the passengers and staff."

Metrolinx also urged commuters to pay attention on its train platforms.

"We really ask people to be very, very mindful when they're around trains," Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said

Aikins said that an internal investigation would be conducted of the incident.