WBEZ | train derailment http://www.wbez.org/tags/train-derailment Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en CTA facing lawsuits over Blue Line crash http://www.wbez.org/news/cta-facing-lawsuits-over-blue-line-crash-109923 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP661422106797(1)_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-4d56c266-0058-d3dc-b02d-129942eb4a5c">Two women who say they were hurt in Monday&rsquo;s O&rsquo;Hare station train crash have filed lawsuits against the Chicago Transit Authority. Attorneys say there are more lawsuits to come.</p><p>The women both work in O&rsquo;Hare International Airport and were passengers on the CTA Blue Line train that jumped the tracks and plowed up an escalator at the airport station. Both claim they suffered debilitating injuries in the accident, which occurred early Monday morning.<br /><br />Both suits were filed in Cook County court and the plaintiffs demand more than $50,000 in damages.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/leaked-video-appears-show-blue-line-train-derailment-109917">Leaked video appears to show Blue Line train derailment</a></strong></p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">Jerry Latherow, the attorney for plaintiff Niakesha Thomas, said Thomas was on her way to work at Hudson&rsquo;s News Stand in the airport when the train crashed.</p><p>The lawyer said Thomas cannot walk right now because of her injuries.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;She&rsquo;s a sole bread-winner, she has a 1-year-old baby. She is not going to be able to work, we don&rsquo;t know how long it&rsquo;s going to be before she gets back to work. But she needs to do what she can to protect herself and her baby,&rdquo; Latherow said.</p><p>He said Thomas suffered injuries to her hips and back.</p><p dir="ltr">The lawsuit alleges the crash was caused by a combination of operator error and failures by the CTA to maintain the tracks and train equipment.</p><p>Federal officials say the train operator admitted that she &ldquo;dozed off&quot; before the accident.</p><p dir="ltr">National Transportation Safety Board investigator Ted Turpin said the woman had been working as an operator for about two months and acknowledged she had previously fallen asleep on the job in February, when her train partially missed a station.</p><p>&quot;She did admit that she dozed off prior to entering the station,&quot; Turpin said of the operator during a briefing Wednesday. &quot;She did not awake until the train hit.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">He said the woman, who was cooperating with the investigation, often worked an erratic schedule, filling in for other CTA employees.</p><p>&quot;Her hours would vary every day,&quot; he said.</p><p dir="ltr">Turpin said the NTSB is investigating the woman&#39;s training, scheduling, and disciplinary history.</p><p>Latherow said it is &ldquo;very alarming&rdquo; that the transit agency allowed someone who had fallen asleep at the helm before to operate another train.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;She&rsquo;d only been working as an &hellip; operator for 60 days &hellip; and here she&rsquo;s fallen asleep what comes out to once a month now,&rdquo; Latherow said. &ldquo;And this is very alarming, and you wonder who is calling the shots? Who is letting somebody like this continue to operate a train, which is deadly?&rdquo;</p><p>Latherow said an aim of the suit is to force change at the CTA -- including altering the agency&rsquo;s hiring policies and fixing the train&rsquo;s braking system.</p><p dir="ltr">A CTA spokeswoman said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.</p><p>The second lawsuit was filed by 23-year-old Dalila Jefferson, a security officer who also was on her way to work at the airport.</p><p dir="ltr">Her attorneys said she was preparing to get off the first car of the train when she was &quot;catapulted forward&quot; as the car jumped the track and came to rest partway up an escalator.</p><p>Attorneys said Jefferson broke her foot and suffered neck and back injuries.</p><p dir="ltr">More than 30 people were hurt during the crash, which occurred around 3 a.m. Monday. None of the injuries was life-threatening.</p><p>Nonetheless, Latherow predicts many more lawsuits. He said his firm is already preparing another suit against the CTA, this one brought by a Transportation Security Administration worker who was hurt on her way to work.</p><p dir="ltr">Turpin said the crash caused about $6 million worth of damage.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/pksmid" target="_blank">@pksmid</a></em></p></p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 16:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cta-facing-lawsuits-over-blue-line-crash-109923 Sen. Durbin calls for railroad checks http://www.wbez.org/news/sen-durbin-calls-railroad-checks-100726 <p><p>Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he wants the federal government to spot-check railroad infrastructure in light of the train accident in the northern suburbs last week that killed two people.&nbsp;The Union Pacific train that derailed caused a 28-car pileup, which then caused the bridge it was on to collapse.</p><div>A spokesman from Union Pacific Railroad said a similar train derailment happened in the same area in 2009.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Sen. Durbin said Monday he wants the Federal Railroad Administration to check in on parts of the railway that might be problematic &mdash; whether it&#39;s because of bad weather or a change in traffic.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I know that&#39;s a big ask because at the federal level we have restriction of funds. But this tragic accident is a reminder of the vulnerability we have when infrastructure fails,&quot; Durbin said.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Durbin said railroad accidents are the responsibility of the railroad, not the state or federal government. &nbsp;But since railways cross many states, and deal with interstate commerce, he wants the FRA to step up.&nbsp;Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said they wouldn&#39;t mind the additional checks.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>According to the Associated Press, the victims in last week&#39;s accident were 69-year-old Burton Lindner and 70-year-old Zorine Lindner, a couple from Glenview. Their son has filed a lawsuit against Union Pacific Railroad.</div></p> Mon, 09 Jul 2012 14:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/sen-durbin-calls-railroad-checks-100726 Train derails in Chicago, no serious injuries http://www.wbez.org/news/train-derails-chicago-no-serious-injuries-98663 <p><p>Authorities say a special Chicago Transit Authority train that had been chartered by railroad enthusiasts as a fundraiser derailed on the elevated tracks Sunday.</p><p>The train was chartered by the Illinois Railway Museum to raise funds for the museum. Those aboard paid $100 to ride the train from the 1960s and 1970s.</p><p>Officials say one car derailed around 11:30 a.m. Sunday on the elevated tracks in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood. There were dozens of people aboard.</p><p>Chicago Fire Department officials say there were no reports of serious injuries.</p><p>CTA spokesman Steve Mayberry says passengers were walked from the train along the elevated tracks.</p><p>Daniel Boylan was aboard. The 46-year-old tells the Chicago <em>Tribune</em> that it's a different experience than they expected, but now they have a story to tell.</p></p> Mon, 30 Apr 2012 09:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/train-derails-chicago-no-serious-injuries-98663 Freight train derailment sparks fire, forces evacuation http://www.wbez.org/content/freight-train-derailment-sparks-fire-forces-evacuation <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-07/trainfire.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-07/trainfire-span.jpg" title="Rail cars lie in a smoldering heap after a freight train loaded with ethanol, crashed and exploded Friday. (AP)" width="630" height="401"></p><p>A fiery freight train derailment in north-central Illinois sent up bright orange flames and plumes of smoke that could be seen miles away, and has forced authorities to evacuate residents of the small community of Tiskilwa.</p><p>The Bureau County sheriff's office says the train derailed early Friday. Resident Amanda Knight says the explosions she heard sounded "like a jet coming over the town."</p><p>Mick Burkart of Iowa Interstate Railroad says 26 cars on the 131-car train derailed, including seven to nine loaded with ethanol, which Capt. Steve Haywood of the Ottawa Fire Department says was being shipped by Decatur-based corn processor Archer Daniels Midland.</p><p>There's been no immediate word about any injuries related to the derailment. Authorities say the town's evacuees are being taken to Princeton High School.</p><p>The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is responding to the scene of the derailment. EPA spokeswoman Maggie Carson says the representative heading to Tiskilwa intends to make sure waterways and the environment are protected. Carson says that what's known about the derailment so far suggests that fumes will burn off and there won't be long-term effects for residents.</p><p>Tiskilwa is a village of about 800 people that's located about 100 miles west of Chicago.</p></p> Fri, 07 Oct 2011 14:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/freight-train-derailment-sparks-fire-forces-evacuation