[cifnmedia] Train Collision in Chicago, Illinois Injures 18

  • From: Sean & Kimberly Aaron <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: CIFN LIST <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 04:52:37 -0800 (PST)

Updated: 03-26-2004 05:03:35 PM

Train Collision in Chicago, Illinois Injures 18
Associated Press

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CHICAGO (AP) -- A commuter train leaving a downtown station at the end of the 
morning rush hour collided with a locomotive on Friday. Eighteen people were 
injured, none seriously. 

The two Metra trains bumped when a locomotive with no cars attached backed into 
the path of the commuter train at a switching point at the Ogilvie 
Transportation Center, one of the city's main train stations. 

``They bumped very gently,'' said Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Donnellan. ``It was 
just a slight nudge.'' 

The passenger train, carrying 50 people and headed for the northwestern suburb 
of Crystal Lake, was going 5 mph or less, according to Metra. 

``There was a loud crash and coffee went flying and people were falling over, 
and it got dark,'' said Gerald Karr, who was on the train with his wife and 

Authorities said the injuries were primarily bumps and bruises, though four 
people were carried from the train on stretchers, two with neck braces. 

The reason for the track mix-up was not immediately known. Metra said both 
trains' engineers and the station dispatcher underwent drug testing and were 
removed from duty pending an internal investigation. 

The engineer of the passenger train has three years' experience operating 
freight trains but is new to commuter trains and had a supervisor aboard, said 
Metra spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet. She said the engineer properly hit the 
emergency brake when he saw the locomotive angling toward his track. 

Metra has been involved in four deadly accidents in the past five weeks in 
which people crossing Metra tracks were struck by trains. In October, a Metra 
train carrying 350 people derailed, causing mostly minor injuries. 

Sean A. Aaron (CIFN*1)
Central Illinois Fire Network

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