Human error caused $3M mistake on Washington ferry




SEATTLE — Washington State Ferries says human error is to blame for an electrical problem that destroyed a drive motor on the Walla Walla, knocking it out of service and causing $3 million in damage.

The ferry service said Monday that workers failed to prevent current from reaching an inactive motor Nov. 4 while they were testing other motors. The current melted parts of the inactive motor over a period of 40 minutes.

The Kitsap Sun reports an investigation found poor communication between the engine crew and maintenance staff was part of the problem. They also failed to properly prepare for the complex procedure. In response, the ferry service says it’s improving training and procedures.

No one was injured in the incident. The Walla Walla should return to service in April.