CTA bus slams into house

Gaping hole left in Morgan Park home
November 10, 2009 (CHICAGO) The bus slammed into a home at 115th and Vincennes around 5:35 a.m. in the city's Morgan Park neighborhood. Four people on the bus were taken to hospitals. Three were passengers; one was the driver. No one inside the home was hurt.

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A 22-year-old man and 24-year-old woman both suffered leg injuries and were listed in good condition at Roseland Hospital. A 7-year-old girl was reportedly listed in good condition at Roseland as well. The 36-year-old female bus driver was taken to MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island. She was released late Tuesday morning in good condition.

Between 3-to-5 feet of the bus went into the building. A Level 1 hazmat situation was called because there was the possibility of a gas rupture in the home. Peoples Gas and ComEd responded to the scene.

Police say they will be conducting an investigation along with the CTA to determine what happened and who is at fault.

"We don't know what caused the operator to lose control of the bus. The initial reports are that no one had life-threatening injuries," said Noelle Gaffney, CTA.

CTA spokesperson Kim Myles said the #111 Pullman bus was headed southbound at the time of the crash.

The renter of the home, Sharon Smith, said she and her four kids who were in the home at the time are OK.

The bus was pulled from the home just before 8 a.m. A giant hole was left in the house, which sustained extensive damage. Authorities were unsure whether the structure would collapse when the bus was removed, but it remains standing.

A chimney and two bathrooms - one on the first floor, one on the second - appeared to be heavily damaged. The force of the impact was so great that bricks fell and the facade of the house was cracked on the opposite side of the home from where the crash took place.

"I was at home asleep, and my girlfriend ran in the house and told me, well, a bus ran in your family's house," said Isaiah McDaniel, cousin of the renter. "I didn't know what to do, make sure everybody was safe."

"When I came in, I seen a bus in the house. I was surprised. Never thought I'd see nothing like that out there. It was shocking. So I decided to come take pictures and see what was going on," said Cordell Hilton, witness.

The Apostolic Pentecostal Church of Morgan Park owns the home and the property it is on.

"I don't know what to do right now. I'm shocked," said Mike Ellis, Apostolic Pentecostal Church.

A small portion of the street was closed, and the gas was shut off as a precaution during the incident.

CTA officials said they would most likely put the family in temporary housing and also be responsible for rebuilding the home.

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