On Thursday, the T said there had been a construction vehicle derailment. Now it says there were three.

“I can assure the public that we will inspect every inch of that project before we resume service.”

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
An MBTA employee looked over new Blue Line tracks with flashlight in hand heading toward the exit of a tunnel at the Airport Station. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The MBTA was asked the question over and over last week: How many times, exactly, had construction vehicles recently derailed during its Blue Line tunnel repair and upgrade project?

On Thursday, after a Globe inquiry, it said that “a construction tool cart derailed,” delaying the return of passenger service. On the same day, the Federal Transit Administration said there had been two MBTA derailments in the past week, but didn’t say where. And then on Monday, the leader of the MBTA acknowledged there had actually been three Blue Line derailments, one on each day from May 7 to 9.

While General Manager Steve Poftak emphasized these were construction vehicles carrying tools, not passengers, that ran off the tracks, the inconsistent messaging is part of a pattern of opacity at an agency under review by federal inspectors.


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