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Woman killed by Green Line train; first fatal accident on new line

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A woman believed to be wearing headphones was hit and killed by a Green Line light rail train in St. Paul Sunday morning, which is the first fatal accident involving the new light rail line since it opened June 14.

St. Paul Police told WCCO the woman in her 40s was walking in the crosswalk to go to the station when she was struck by an eastbound train.

The woman was wearing headphones and the warning signals at the station were working at the time, according to reports. She had died by the time emergency officials arrived, KARE 11 says.

As a safety precaution, officials have cautioned riders to avoid wearing headphones, talking on the phone or texting while around trains.

The train's operator was removed and will be subjected to drug testing, per standard procedure, reports say.

Officials said Sunday's accident was the first "major" accident since the 12-mile, $1 billion Green Line, which connects downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis, opened, the Star Tribune reports. Metro Transit official Bruce Howard told the newspaper there have been 13 "minor" accidents since it began operating. Many of those accidents involved vehicles and Green Line trains.

Sunday's accident comes about a week after a pedestrian suffered non-life threatening injuries after being hit by a Green Line train on University Avenue near Chatsworth Street, not far from the state Capitol. Officials said the man was illegally walking between the tracks when he was hit.

Westgate Station is on University Avenue near Emerald Street Southeast in the Prospect Park neighborhood of St. Paul.

Buses temporarily replaced service between Prospect Park and Raymond Avenue stations Sunday morning. Train service at the other stations wasn't affected.

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