Deliberate mistake: The entire plot wouldn't exist without this one, but just before the engineer stumbles out the door and falls off, he pulls the big red lever on the left side of the cab. In the real world this puts the air brake system into its emergency mode. Among other things, this mode trips a solenoid which causes the engine to return to idle, and the electrical system to not put out power. Neither the Diesel engine nor the electrical system will respond to control inputs until/unless the air system is reset.
Trivia: In the original script Manny was supposed to be a convicted killer but writer Edward Bunker changed it to a safe-cracker because he didn't feel the other prisoners would respect a killer. Curiously this makes Warden Rankin's bitter and homicidal hatred towards Manny (which included welding him into his cell for 2 years) rather questionable as safe cracking isn't remotely as serious as murder.Gavin Jackson
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