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CTA Loop train derails, debris falls onto street

A CTA train derailed, apparently causing dozens of steel railroad ties to rain down from the El tracks in Chicago?s Loop Tuesday night.
A CTA train derailed, apparently causing dozens of steel railroad ties to rain down from the El tracks in Chicago's Loop Tuesday night.

The minor derailment caused major delays because when the front two wheels of the train car came off, they knocked dozens of steel rails clips off, sending them and other debris slamming into the street below.

"Stuff started falling and I was sitting inside the car," Joseph Williams said.

Williams' car was hit by a steel spike and chunks of wood. All of it, along with dozens and dozens of steel railroad tries, rained down on Van Buren just after the evening rush hour.

"I saw these fragments of metal falling from the tracks onto Van Buren and the train just kept going. And the fragments of metal were just showering the entire street," said witness Michael Blossom.

"An El train goes by and there were more steel fittings falling to the ground and big pieces of wood falling from the tracks," witness Marilyn Katz said.

Investigators think the front car of an Orange Line train derailed, hitting the rail structure, and tearing off the steel ties, spikes and wood as the train moved west.

Emergency crews responded to the derailment after the operator stopped the train at LaSalle, but there were no injuries.

Williams considers himself lucky.

"That could've hit me or hit the sunroof and came through the whole car because that's heavy. That's not a little piece of wood, that's steel," he said.

El service throughout the Loop was running again late Tuesday night, but only on the outer Loop tracks. Crews are continuing work to replace all of those track clips and debris that was damaged.

Full El service is expected to be restored in plenty of time for Wednesday morning's commute.

Related Topics:
news train derailment CTA Chicago - Loop
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