CTA investigating how runaway train left Forest Park station, causing crash

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A runaway train collided with another train on the Blue Line in Forest Park this morning, injuring dozens of people, but exactly what tripped the accident is still under investigation, officials said.

The train that struck the stopped train had been at the CTA’s Forest Park yard for repairs and officials were determining why the train was moving, said CTA Spokesman Brian Steele.

The train was traveling about 20 miles an hour at the time of the collision, said Steele. No one was operating the train at the time, said Steele.

CTA officials and Forest Park police have told the union that no criminal activity or foul play is suspected, according to Robert Kelly, president of Local 308 of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

At least two CTA employees in the Forest Park yard said they saw no one in the control cab of the train that subsequently hit a stopped train carrying passengers at the Harlem Avenue station, the first stop after the Forest Park station, Kelly said.

Kelly said it is a mystery how the train that caused the collision could have passed through track switches without an emergency stop mechanism from activating.

“The train should have been tripped and gone into emergency,” Kelly said. “It’s starting to look like a mechanical malfunction.”

The accident happened around 8 a.m. when an outbound train stopped at the Harlem station was hit by an out-of-service train going the opposite direction on the same track, according to CTA spokeswomanLambrini Lukidis.

The CTA said 33 people were taken to nine hospitals, but there were no serious injuries. CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase disputed a count by Forest Park Mayor Anthony Calderone, who said 48 people were taken to 10 hospitals.

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