Railroad worker spotted issue before derailment

July 17, 2012

Associated Press

Union Pacific says an employee noticed a potential problem with a section of track just before a train derailed in suburban Chicago, killing a couple traveling in their car.

Union Pacific Vice President of Engineering David Connell told dozens of residents of Glenview and Northbrook on Monday that the employee didn't think it was of big enough concern to order the freight train to stop.

Instead, the employee called in an inspector, but the derailment occurred before the expert arrived.

Railroad officials believe excessive heat caused the track to buckle and 31 cars carrying coal to derail in the July 4 accident. Most landed in a pile on top of a railroad bridge, causing it to collapse into the street below and crush the car of Zorine and Burton Lindner.