Tuesday 21 October 2014

Miraculous escape as airport train derails

Lindsey Tanner Chicago

Published 25/03/2014 | 02:30

The scene where the train derailed at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
A Chicago Transit Authority worker directs commuters to a shuttle bus after a subway train derailed at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, March 24, 2014. Photo: Reuters.
A Chicago Transit Authority worker directs commuters to a shuttle bus after a subway train derailed at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, March 24, 2014. Photo: Reuters.
A worker puts up a tarp to cover the scene where a Chicago Transit Authority subway train crashed into a platform at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago March 24, 2014. Photo: Reuters.
A worker puts up a tarp to cover the scene where a Chicago Transit Authority subway train crashed into a platform at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago March 24, 2014. Photo: Reuters.

A commuter train ploughed across a platform and scaled an escalator at the underground station of one of the world's busiest airports yesterday – injuring 32 people on board.

Incredibly, no one died in the derailment at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. This was mainly due to the timing of the crash, just before 3am. The bustling station is usually packed with travellers.

The head of a Chicago transit union said there were indications the train driver had dozed off. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308 President Robert Kelly said the driver told him she had worked a lot of overtime recently and was "extremely tired".

No one suffered life-threatening injuries.

The eight-carriage train jumped the tracks, skidded across a platform and scaled an escalator leading to the airport.

It appeared to have been going too fast as it approached the station and didn't stop at a bumping post – a metal shock absorber at the end of the tracks.

Denise Adams, a passenger on the train, said she heard a loud noise during the impact. "I heard a 'boom!' and when I got off the train, the train was all the way up the escalator," she said.

Investigators were reviewing security footage and interviewing the driver – who was hospitalised – and other transport workers to pin down the cause of the accident.

"We will be looking at equipment. We will be looking at signals. We'll be looking at the human factor and any extenuating circumstances," Chicago Transport Authority spokesman Brian Steele said.

Irish Independent

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