Thursday, October 23rd10.0°C
23711
22968

Speeding train derails

An eight-car Chicago commuter train plowed across a platform and scaled an escalator at an underground station at one of the nation's busiest airports early Monday, injuring 32 people on board, officials said.

No one suffered life-threatening injuries in the Blue Line derailment at O'Hare International Airport, Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said during a morning briefing.

An enormous disaster was avoided thanks to the timing of the crash at 02:50 a.m. The bustling station is usually packed with travellers making their way to or from Chicago from the major airport, and a Chicago Transit Authority official said the crash happened at a traditionally quiet time.

Denise Adams, a passenger on the train, told the Chicago Sun-Times she heard a loud noise during the impact.

"I heard a 'Boom!' and when I got off the train, the train was all the way up the escalator," she said. "It was a lot of panic."

CTA investigators along with the city fire department and police were reviewing security footage and interviewing the driver and other CTA workers to pin down the cause of the accident around 2:50 a.m. National Transportation Safety Board investigators were expected to arrive later in the day.

"We will be looking at equipment. We will be looking at signals. We'll be looking at the human factor and any extenuating circumstances," CTA spokesman Brian Steele said. "But really at this point, it's far too soon to speculate."

Transit agency officials said crews were working to remove the train and fix the escalator, which received "significant damage." Hours after the crash, the front of the first car could still be seen near the top of the escalator.

Christopher Bushell, CTA's chief infrastructure officer, said it would likely be at least 12 to 24 hours before the station would reopen. He said workers will cut the train apart and remove it in pieces on a flatbed.

"Apparently (it) was travelling at a rate of speed that clearly was higher than a normal train would be," Steele said.

It wasn't clear how many people were on board at the time of the crash, but that it took place during what is "typically among our lowest ridership time," Steele said.

The injured were taken to four hospitals and Santiago said most were able to walk away from the wreck unaided.

In September, a CTA Blue Line train slammed into another train at a suburban Chicago station, injuring as many as four dozen commuters.

The Canadian Press

COMMENTS WELCOME

Comments on this story are pre-moderated and approval times may vary. Before they appear, comments are reviewed by moderators to ensure they meet our submission guidelines. Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments are open and welcome for three days after the story is published. We reserve the right to close comments before then. Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of Castanet, but only of the comment writer.



Read more World News

22932


Recent Trending





20036








World Quick Links World Discussion Forum
United Nations
World Health Organization
UNESCO
World Trade Organization
NATO
European Union
The Commonwealth
Francophonie
Olympics
Google Earth


Member of BC Press Council


22363