14 hurt in latest derailment of Chicago train
A Chicago Transit Authority train derailed Wednesday on the city's South Side, frightening passengers who were dazed as emergency responders removed them from the elevated rails, the AP reported.
Fourteen people were taken to hospitals, 11 in good condition and three in fair condition, said Fire Commissioner Raymond Orozco. A total of 25 people had been on the train, including one CTA employee.
The first two cars of the four-car train sat askew at a junction between two lines but remained upright after the derailment, which CTA spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski said happened shortly after 10 a.m.
"Everybody was screaming and hollering and you know, and praying for God," said 35-year-old Willie Jackson, who was aboard the train's second car when it derailed and leaned west off the tracks.
"I was just hoping that train didn't go over the edge. That was the only thing I was really concerned about," Jackson said.
All passengers appeared to be off the train within about an hour.
CTA President Ron Huberman said the derailment's cause was unclear, but the agency's investigation was focusing on the signal system at the junction.
The derailment was just the latest problem for the city's deteriorating century-old train system, which runs throughout the city and to nearby communities on elevated and underground tracks.
A rush-hour Blue Line train derailed in a subway in July 2006, causing a smoky fire that injured more than 150 people, six seriously. Last September, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a blistering report of the system, saying a seriously flawed inspection and maintenance program likely played a major role in the derailment.
Last month, a Red Line train derailed as it pulled into a station on the Chicago-Evanston border. A week earlier, an electrical problem caused a Blue Line train to stall in a subway, forcing the evacuation of up to 100 passengers and shutting down service between downtown and O'Hare International Airport. Seven people were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.