updated 3/26/2004 12:33:49 PM ET 2004-03-26T17:33:49

A locomotive bumped a commuter train carrying about 40 people outside a main downtown station Friday. At least 18 people were injured, apparently none seriously.

The collision happened just after the morning rush hour, as the commuter train left the Ogilvie Transportation Center for the northwestern suburb of Crystal Lake, authorities said.

The single locomotive was backing into the station when it hit the commuter train at a switching point in the tracks, Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Donnellan said. “They bumped very gently. It was just a slight nudge,” Donnellan said.

Inside the train, “there was a loud crash and coffee went flying and people were falling over, and it got dark,” passenger Gerald Karr said.

Authorities said the injuries appeared to be minor, mostly bumps and bruises, though four people were carried from the train on stretchers, two with neck braces.

All outbound traffic was halted from the station, formerly known as Northwestern Station.

Metra operates 12 routes from downtown Chicago to northeastern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, serving 150,000 passengers a day.

The commuter train service has been involved in four accidents in the past two months in which people crossing Metra tracks were struck and killed. In October, a Metra train carrying 350 people derailed, causing mostly minor injuries.

A commuter train carrying 90 people from downtown Chicago struck an empty train Friday morning, causing some injuries, authorities said.

The accident took place just after the morning rush hour near the Ogilvie Transportation Center, one of the city’s main downtown train stations.

Metra rail line spokeswoman Audrey Renteria said a train just departing for the northwestern suburb of Crystal Lake and an empty train bumped just north of the station. The empty train was headed back to the station. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear.

“I know that there are injuries,” said Judy Pardonnet, another Metra spokeswoman. “I don’t know the severity.”

At least seven ambulances were called to the scene of the accident at about 9 a.m.

Sarah Peasley, a passenger on the outbound train, said she heard of “a couple of minor injuries” on board but didn’t see much.

“We started out very slowly,” said Peasley, of Littleton, Colo., who was going to visit her parents in Crystal Lake. “Suddenly, we came to a clanging stop.”

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments