CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Seven people were taken to area hospitals after a CTA Green Line train derailed late Thursday morning in the Bronzeville neighborhood.
The Chicago Fire Department says 30 people were aboard the train when a car jumped the track.
Green Line service was halted for several hours before being restored about 4:30 p.m.
Fire District Chief John Giordano said all injuries were not serious, “some complaints of a back or neck, but they’re all minor.”
The southbound train derailed about 11 a.m. on the Green Line tracks north of 46th Street, according to the CFD.
Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said the lead car’s wheels slipped off the tracks, but that it seems “stable” and does not appear to be in danger of falling. Giordano echoed that, saying the train was never in “danger of leaving the tracks.”
But for passengers like Drake Hills, the train falling over was a very real concern.
Hills was on one of the train cars with about 10 other passengers when “we heard a little bit of a screech on the train and after that we all looked up and saw that there was some smoke, whether it be [from] the track or the car in front of us,” he said.
“We were very worried,” Hills added. “A lot of people were exclaiming ‘What the hell?’ and a lot of different things like that. We were just glad that we didn’t fall off the track or any car, really, didn’t fall off the track.”
Hills said his car was the last to be rescued by the CFD. He said it took him between 30 and 40 minutes to get safely on the ground.
Green Line service is suspended between the 35th-Bronzeville-IIT and Ashland/63rd-Cottage Grove stations, according to a service alert from the CTA. Shuttle bus service is available for the affected area and trains are only operating between 35th and Roosevelt.
CTA Chief Transit Officer Donald Bonds could not yet say what caused the derailment or how fast the train was going at the time. The CTA will be reviewing video footage to make its determination.
The CTA is advising riders to use alternate routes including Red Line trains or nearby bus routes.