Around 3am this morning, Monday March 24th, Chicago experienced an alarming reality check when a CTA Blue Line train derailed at the O’Hare International Airport. Instead of slowing down, the train continued past the bumping post, past the track, lastly crashing into an escalator. The photos of this horrific accident are truly chilling, and it’s been confirmed that thirty-two people, including the Train Operator, were injured from the accident. Fortunately it appears that all victims aren’t suffering from any life-threatening injuries.
As stated above, CTA crashes can be jarring. As Chicagoians, we are used to relying on public transit. Of course we aren’t completely unaware of the dangers – sure to be on alert, conscious of our surroundings, holding tightly to personal items, etc., but how often do we think about the physical danger of the actual CTA train?
The greatest blessing of this particular accident was the timing of the incident. If it had happened during a more “rider-heavy” time, it’s possible that numerous of others would be injured, and possibly hurt past recognition. It’s a heavy reminder of the 1977 Chicago Loop derailment.
On February 4th, 1977, an elevated CTA train rear-ended another train at the corner of Wabash and Lake during rush hour. Victims were not nearly as lucky as those of this morning’s accident. Four cars of the rear part of the train fell from the elevated tracks, killing 11 people and injuring over 180 others. Like the collision from this morning, the train was unable to stop. The passengers on the 1977 train said that first impact was nothing more than a slight bump, but the threat level rapidly heightened.
The conclusion of the 1977 investigation was human error. The train operator was found to be high on marijuana, and after the “slight bump” continued to apply pressure, until the two trains jackknifed, causing one of the trains to fall of the rails.
The investigation of today’s accident is only beginning. It’s hard to make any concrete conclusions on cause yet, and it sounds like it will be awhile until the actual Blue line train can be removed from the escalator. It’s been reported that the train was going too fast when entering the train station, so both faulty brakes and/or human error are two very possible causes for this awful, upsetting occurrence.
If you have been hurt on a CTA train, CTA bus, car, or pedestrian accident due to the negligence of a CTA train or bus, contact the personal injury attorneys at the Horwitz Law Group. Call today to schedule a FREE consultation with Chicago’s personal injury attorney’s at (312) 641-9200.
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