Train accident injury lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report on the recent train derailment on Chicago’s Blue Line, which injured over 30 passengers, including the conductor. Fortunately, none of the injuries are critical, and no bystanders at O’Hare were seriously injured.
The derailment occurred just before 3 a.m. at the O’Hare International Airport station. The train reportedly jumped the tracks and rammed into an escalator, nearly reaching the top. Due to the odd hour, no one was on the escalator at the time of the crash, however there was still much panic in the minutes after the accident.
About 32 people were taken to local hospitals, all of whom in fair to good condition. It is too soon to determine the cause of the derailment, however, a spokesperson for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) stated that the train was traveling at an unusually high speed when it pulled into the station at O’Hare, which is the last stop on the Blue Line.
The CTA is in the midst of investigating the crash, including equipment maintenance, possible signal error, human factors, and all other extenuating circumstances.
Investigators have cut the train apart in order to remove the cars and debris from the escalator. The station is expected to re-open by tonight, though bus shuttles are available between Rosemont and O’Hare for commuters.
Second Blue Line Crash in Five Months
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was also called in to investigate the derailment, which is common in incidents like this. The federal agency was in Chicago just a few months ago, in October 2013, looking into yet another Blue Line crash. During that incident, a runaway train – without a conductor or passengers – somehow slipped away from the Forest Park service yard, traveled over safety barriers, and crashed into another Blue Line train at the Harlem station.
That accident occurred during morning rush hour, though thankfully no one was critically injured. Dozens of passengers were sent to the hospital, however, and many were trampled by panicked commuters trying to get out of the train. The runaway train struck the back of the stationed train at about 20 miles per hour.
In the general scheme of things, however, these two Blue Line crashes were relatively minor, and all passengers and bystanders were incredibly lucky. Luckier, at least, than the four passengers who were killed in a Metro-North Railroad train derailment, which occurred in the Bronx last December. About a dozen other passengers were left critically injured.
The train was going nearly three times the permissible speed when it derailed – traveling at 82 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zone. It was the deadliest train accident in New York City in over two decades.
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According to federal reports, there are more than 175 train accidents in Illinois every year, and an estimated 40 people are killed in those accidents. Trains are enormously dangerous and powerful, and can cause devastating injuries even in those who survive crashes. Workers who are employed with train companies, like Metra or Amtrak, are also at dire risk of serious injury.
Our team of train accident lawyers works on behalf of anyone injured by renegade trains, whether that be passengers, conductors, or railway employees. We have decades of experiencing working with seriously injured victims to help them recover both physically and financially. We know how expensive medical bills can be, and how a serious injury can permanently affect your future earnings and quality of life. Let us help you get back on your feet. Our case reviews are free, confidential, and available to train crash victims nationwide.