Blue Line Is on Fire
By Rachelle Bowden in News on Jul 11, 2006 11:52PM
And not in a good way. Chicagoist, along with hundreds of other people, were forced to walk home tonight because of a fire on the rear car of a Blue Line train. No trains were running in either direction between Washington in the Loop and Damen Avenue. The alternate route is the #56 bus that runs up Milwaukee Avenue, but that was so packed that the drivers were not even stopping at the stops. Not one more person could fit in those buses. We're not complaining, though. About 76 people on the train have been treated and transported, and a few were in serious condition. The cause of the fire is not known yet. We'll post photos and updates soon, but we just walked in the door and wanted to get a post up quick to let people share their stories and information they have on what's going on. Leave comments!
Update: NBC 5 is reporting that the fire was caused by a rear train that derailed. The fire was reported just after 5pm on a Blue Line train near 124 W. Lake St. CTA President Frank Kruesi said that "The underside of the car actually caught fire" and that the tracks, the 3rd rail and the signals were also damaged. Passengers were evacuated from underground near Clinton and Fulton. NBC is giving out this number for the Red Cross Patient Information Line, if you need to find out if someone you know was among the injured: (312) 729-6100.
Update: 7:52pm - CTA says that there is no service between LaSalle and Damen. There is a shuttle bus between the Damen and LaSalle Blue Line stations in both directions.
Update: 8:30pm - Wish they would make up their minds. The CTA alert is back to saying that there's no service between Damen and Washington, not LaSalle. We're sure they'll be working on it all night, but we're wondering how or if things will be up and running for the morning commute.
Update: 10pm - Anyone who left stuff behind when they were evacuating can pick it up at the 1st Police District starting at 6 a.m., Wednesday, July 12. The district is at 1718 S. State St., and can be reached by phone at 312-745-4290.
Update: 10:32pm - James reminds me, and all of you, that now is a good time to sign up for the CTA Tattler's SMS CTA Alerts. Actually, yesterday would have been a good time, so we could have gotten the alerts today, but this is a good reminder why the service is important.
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