CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - The MBTA has begun removing some ceiling panels at its stations after a panel fell close to a transit rider at Harvard station earlier this week, Interim General Manager Jeff Gonneville announced on Friday. 

Gonneville discussed the incident ahead of the release of surveillance video that showed the moment an insulation panel fell on a Harvard platform just before 4 p.m. on Wednesday. 

Gonneville said the panel fell “very close” to a rider. 

“I am extremely thankful and relieved that there were no injuries as a result of this accident,” Gonneville said. 

Gonneville said T officials take this incident seriously, saying officials have been utilizing all resources available to look into the incident, determine its cause and implement “whatever solutions necessary to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

Gonneville said the panel, which weighed between 20 and 25 pounds, did not contribute to the structural integrity of the Harvard station. 

Rather, he said, the aluminum panel served to boost the aesthetics of the station and absorb noise. 

Gonneville said officials inspected the area after Wednesday’s panel incident. Preliminary observations, he said, showed the panel failed due to corrosion caused by water leaking into the area. 

Gonneville said an additional investigation is ongoing. 

In the meantime, Gonneville said he directed transit personnel to remove panels in places around the T’s network where necessary to allow easier access for inspections and maintenance. 

Gonneville said crews had already removed 10 panels as of Friday. There are many more around the T’s stations, though, with between 400 and 500 at Harvard alone, according to Gonneville. 

MBTA rider Peter D’Angelo said he was nearby when the panel fell on Wednesday. 

He said he wasn’t surprised by this incident, discussing frustrations with the MBTA in an interview with 7NEWS earlier this week.

“We need the T and we have to ride the T,” he said. “If we had any other option, we would use that.”

D’Angelo separately reacted to the T’s release of video on Friday. 

“What’s next?” he said. “The ceiling is falling. The sky is falling one day. What’s going on with the walls? What’s going on with the floors?”

Gonneville said T crews plan to take advantage of a planned diversion this weekend to continue work to assess and remove some insulation panels in T facilities. A full audit, he said, is expected to wrap up over the coming weeks.  

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