Chicago Commuter Train Derails, Injuring Dozens

March 24, 2014

More than 30 people reportedly were injured after a commuter train in Chicago derailed at O’Hare International Airport early Monday morning, jumping its track and careening into a platform.

Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said in a briefing with reporters that none of the injuries were considered life-threatening, but The Chicago Tribune quotes fire officials as saying that “six people are listed in fair-to-serious condition and 26 in good-to-fair condition.”

The Blue Line train’s operator “was walking and talking as we were investigating,” Santiago said.

The Tribune reports:

“The eight-car train jumped a bumper at the end of the line and ended up on an escalator around 2:50 a.m. [local time], according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

“The train was wedged up to almost the top of the staircase commuters use when entering O’Hare from the Blue Line terminal there.

“CTA spokesman Brian Steele told reporters that the train appeared to [be] going faster than normal when entering the station. ‘We will be looking at everything — equipment, signals, the human factor,’ Steele said.”

Patrick Smith from member station WBEZ in Chicago says the airport is the last stop on the line and one of the busiest overnight destinations. However, Steele said that while it wasn’t clear how many people were aboard when the crash occurred, it was “typically among our lowest ridership time.”

Because of the accident, the Chicago Transit Authority is running buses to and from O’Hare, which was expected to cause major delays for the morning rush hour, WBEZ says.

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