Police: Commuter train derails at Chicago airport

(CHICAGO, AP) — 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.

Chicago Transit Authority 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. The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified.

“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.”

Steele said crews were working to remove the train and fix the escalator and aren’t sure when the station will reopen. The CTA was busing passengers to and from O’Hare to the next station on the line.

The train appeared to have been going too fast as it approached the end-of-line station and didn’t stop at a bumping post — a metal shock absorber at the end of the tracks.

“The train actually climbed over the last stop, jumped up on the sidewalk and then went up the stairs and escalator,” Santiago said.

“Apparently (it) was traveling 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.

Posted by on March 24, 2014. Filed under National News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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