Seven people were injured after a car and two light-rail trains collided in a downtown Minneapolis intersection Monday night.
Two men in the car were extracted from the vehicle, which became wedged between a northbound train and a southbound train after being hit at the intersection of 5th Street and Portland Avenue S., said Metro Transit spokesman Drew Kerr.
One of the men in the car was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The other suffered minor injuries, Kerr said.
Five people on the train suffered noncritical injuries, Kerr said.
Both Green and Blue line trains were back in service Tuesday morning as authorities investigated how the crash happened.
The light-rail operators involved in the collision were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure, Kerr said.
A preliminary investigation indicated that a car on Portland Avenue entered the intersection about two blocks from U.S. Bank Stadium around 9 p.m. and was hit by a Blue Line train heading to the Mall of America. The collision pushed the car into a northbound Green Line train that was at the intersection.
Dashcam video taken by a witness at the intersection showed the car entering the intersection as the traffic light on Portland turned yellow. The driver was in the middle of the intersection when the southbound train struck the car. A northbound Green Line train at the intersection was stopped at the traffic light when the crash happened, the video showed.
The scene was cleared about 10:30 p.m.
Light-rail vehicle movements are guided by signals along the track. As part of the investigation, Metro Transit will be looking at what the rail and traffic signals were showing when the light-rail vehicle entered the intersection. An investigation may take several weeks to complete, Kerr said.
"Safety is our highest priority, and our operators receive extensive training both at their time of hire and throughout their career," Kerr said. "All collisions are thoroughly investigated."
Light-rail service began in 2004 and there have been 416 collisions between trains and vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists since then. In nine of those crashes, the train operator's actions were a primary cause of the collision, Kerr said.
Since the Blue Line opened 19 years ago, there have been 17 collisions at the intersection of 5th Street and Portland Avenue, Metro Transit data shows.
In the past five years, there has been less than one collision for every 100,000 miles traveled by light-rail vehicles, Kerr said.