The "L" train went off the track at Chicago O'Hare's Blue Line Station this morning.
32 people were injured this morning when an "L" train failed to stop at O'Hare International Airport at 2:52 a.m. on Monday. The train derailed and went up the escalator before coming to a stop. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating but says the damaged cars will need to be cut up for removal, which may take up to 12 hours. None of the injuries were considered life-threatening but the incident required 15 ambulances to transport people to four local hospitals.
"We know what happened, but we don't know why it happened," Larry Langford, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman said. Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) spokesman, Brian Steele, said that the incident occurred during a time when ridership is lowest.
Steele explained that at the end of the line there is a "bumping post" that will absorb the shock of a train that does not stop at the right place. Because this "L" train didn't stop, however, speed is being considered as a factor.
The train "apparently was traveling at a rate of speed that clearly was higher than a normal train would be," Steele said. Early in the investigation, there were no indications of any mechanical issues with the train. The train's driver submitted to drug and alcohol tests, which is standard in these types of investigations. Local authorities states that they do not anticipate any issues with the tests.
The CTA has a plan in place for any time that service is disrupted, and today is no exception. Shuttle buses are running and CTA employees and police are directing passengers to the airport's bus and shuttle center, one floor above the station.