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O'Hare Blue Line train crash: Driver dozed off, more than 30 injured

UPDATE: The driver of the CTA train said she dozed off at the controls. There is still concern about emergency controls not stopping the train, and therefore, an investigation continues. The Blue Line will be disrupted again, on Tuesday's morning rush hour, due to the continuing investigation.

OHare Blue Line crash
Chicago Tribune handout

At O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, a CTA train derailed and jumped the platform, then climbed up an escalator at the end of the Blue Line on Monday morning, according to the Chicago Tribune on Monday. More than thirty people were injured in the accident.

People tried to get off the train in a panic as it was very difficult to get off the train. Fortunately, crews from the Fire Department didn’t find anyone trapped under the train. The injured were taken to four local hospitals in good or fair condition, according to Joe Santiago who is the Chicago Fire Commissioner. The operator who was able to walk from the accident was also able to talk to investigators.

The Blue Line vehicle which crashed into O’Hare at 2:50 a.m. is an eight-car train which sat near the top of an escalator used by commuters at the Blue Line terminal at O’Hare. It is likely that the train will have to be divided into pieces to get it off the escalator – likely taking as long as 12 to 24 hours. After the removal of the train, repairs will obviously have to be made to the train and the O’Hare platform and escalator.

For a train pulling into a station, the train was reportedly traveling at a higher rate of speed. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

For commuters, shuttle buses are being put into action between nearby Rosemont and O’Hare.

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