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'Slow down!' commuters yell before 2 Chicago trains collide

September 30, 2013|By Matt Pearce
  • Authorities inspect the wreckage of two Chicago Transit Authority trains that crashed Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, in Forest Park, Ill. The crash happened when a westbound train stopped at the CTA Blue Line Harlem station and was struck by an eastbound train on the same track.
Authorities inspect the wreckage of two Chicago Transit Authority trains… (M. Spencer Green / Associated…)

Thirty-three people suffered minor injuries after an empty train struck a Chicago Transit Authority train while it was stopped at a station Monday morning, according to a transit spokeswoman.

No one was seriously hurt, Lambrini Lukidis, a spokeswoman for the CTA, told the Los Angeles Times.

A westbound CTA train was stopped at the Harlem station on the Blue line west of downtown when an out-of-service train, headed east without any passengers, hit the in-service train.

Taylor Pettiford was waiting at Harlem Avenue for the train that would take her to school when she heard screaming, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"Stop! Stop! Stop the train!" she heard people yelling. "Slow down!"  Then there was a big crash and more screams. Pettiford saw a woman knocked down complaining that her shoulder hurt.

"I instantly started crying, and I called my mom to come pick me up," Pettiford, 17, told the Tribune.

CTA trains typically have drivers sitting in the front car, and the driver from the out-of-service train did not appear to be among the 33 people reporting injuries, Lukidis told The Times.

She said some tracks occasionally serve trains going both directions, but that it was "typically not" normal for trains to go both ways on the track where the accident happened.

"We’re doing a thorough investigation right now to figure out exactly how this happened," Lukidis said.

The Tribune reported that the CTA disputed a casualty estimate by Forest Park Mayor Anthony Calderone, who said 48 people were taken to 10 hospitals.

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