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Unexplained Derailment At O'Hare Leaves Dozens Injured

A startling accident led to 32 people suffering injuries Monday morning, as a CTA Blue Line train came off the tracks at O'Hare Airport station. The eight-car train derailed just before 3 a.m. this morning. After coming off the tracks, the train traveled up an escalator at the O'Hare station. Thankfully, the train accident caused no fatalities. The operator of the train was walking and discussing the incident with investigators later in the morning.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been called on to participate in the investigation into the crash. The Chicago Transit Authority will work with NTSB investigators to determine why the train derailed. Nothing has been ruled out at this time, including operator error, signal failure, equipment malfunction and other possible factors. A CTA spokesperson did indicated that the train may have been traveling at a higher rate of speed than expected while pulling into a station.

Those injured in the train crash were taken to area hospitals. The 32 injured passengers were divided among Lutheran General, Park Ridge, Swedish Covenant Hospital and Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center. Twenty-six of the injured passengers were listed in good condition. The remaining 6 were listed in fair condition. None of the injuries were considered life threatening.

Travel delays were expected for the next day or two, as parts of the train must be cut apart by workers and removed by flatbed. The station itself was expected to remain closed for 12 to 24 hours.

Source: Chicago Sun Times, "Blue Line train derails at O'Hare, climbs up escalator; 32 hurt," by Jordan Owen and George P. Slefo, 24 March 2014

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