Thirty-eight people were injured, three critically, after a Yellow Line CTA train crashed Thursday near the Howard CTA station on the North Side, Chicago Fire Department officials said. Four children were among the injured.
The train crashed into a piece of equipment that was on the rails just before 11 a.m. in the 7500 block of North Paulina Street.
Twenty-three people were taken to hospitals in fair-to-serious condition, and 15 refused care, officials said. The CTA operator, who was near the point of collision, was among the most critically injured. The children, the youngest of whom was 2, suffered “bumps and bruises.” None of the injuries suffered were life-threatening.
A spokesperson for Illinois Masonic Medical Center said the hospital is treating three patients from the crash: one person in serious condition and the other two are in fair condition.
Swedish Covenant Hospital treated six people, who were all in good condition, according to a spokesperson.
About 10:35 a.m., the fire department received a report of a “train vs. train” incident in the CTA yard, said Robert Jurewicz, Fire Department 2nd District chief during a media briefing at the scene.
Firefighters found that a southbound Yellow Line train had collided with a slow-moving snowplow machine about 300 yards from the Howard station.
Both vehicles were moving in the same direction but the train was moving at about 30 mph while the plow was at a “slow crawl,” about 10 mph, said Larry Langford, spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department. “The train was much faster and it rear-ended the plow.”
All trains were stopped, the power was shut off, and the 31 riders and seven CTA staff members were evacuated.
The National Transportation Safety Board announced on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, that it would conduct an investigation into the crash.
“Our thoughts are with all affected and we are grateful for our brave first responders on the scene,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a statement. “We are working closely with emergency services as we continue to monitor this incident.”
As passengers were led off the train, some were brought into a triage center lined with stretchers to be assessed. One passenger was bleeding heavily from the head.
Shayla Smith, who was headed into work in Wilmette, had just boarded a Purple Line train at Howard when she heard the collision. Passengers on her train began screaming, and she saw an elderly woman nearly fall out of her seat.
“I just heard like a horrible boom sound,” she said. “It was like a weird boom sound. It felt like we’re gonna tip over and I was wondering what’s going on?”
“My body shivered,” she said, before adding that the experience was “traumatizing.”
The cause of the crash remains under investigation, according to CTA officials.
CTA Red Line service has been temporarily suspended between Howard and Thorndale.
Yellow and Purple lines have also been temporarily suspended near the Howard station.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.