Teams fan out in San Jose to warn of newly energized third rail

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Teams in yellow safety jackets have fanned out in San Jose today with an important safety warning for residents living near a third rail that has been electrified.

The 10-mile BART extension still under construction between Warm Springs in Fremont to the new Berryessa station in San Jose is now energized for testing. That means 1,000 volts of electricity is running through the third rail.

The teams are from the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), which is in charge of construction of the BART extension in Santa Clara County.

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Coming in contact with the third rail could be fatal. "You can't see the current you can't smell the current, but if you touch the current, it will be too late," according to John Engstrom, VTA's BART project manager.

VTA is also reaching out to schools and businesses along the right-of-way.

Flyers are being left on doorknobs if residents aren't home. They are printed in multiple languages, including English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog and Hindi.

The BART extension is ahead of schedule and may open by the end of this year.

This story is developing, and we'll have live reports coming up on ABC7 News at 5 and 6.

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