Trains Crash on South Side

By Margaret Lyons in News on Nov 30, 2007 7:12PM

Breaking news: An Amtrak train and a freight train collided at 48th and South Shields Ave about an hour ago, and passengers are being pulled out as we write this. Developing.

UPDATE 12:27: Don Rashid from Stroger Hospital is on NBC5 saying that Stroger is in a "stage 3 disaster."

The footage is showing color-coded triage areas, and so far the green zone is empty.

12:30 Witnesses are describing a sound "like an explosion" when the trains crashed.
2007_11_30.traincrash1.jpg The Amtrak train hit the back of the freight car and actually pushed on top of it.

Photo from CBS

12:34 The train is the Pere Marquette, which was scheduled to leave Grand Rapids at 7:35 a.m. and arrive at Union Station at 10:30. For victim/passenger info, contact the Red Cross at 312-729-6200.

12:36 Reports now say at least five people have been seriously injured.

12:40 Rescue response is "level three," which means 15 ambulances and a whole bunch of EMTs and fire fighters.

12:43Larry Langford of the Fire Department is telling CBS that a lot of the passengers are "green," which in triage terms means bumps and bruises (non-urgent), but "we do have a couple on the train that are red" (that's urgent), and a few Amtrak employees from the front car have been critically injured but are alive. Fire fighters had to use hydraulic tools to un-pin one guy, but he was conscious.

12:46This is called an "over-run accident"--both trains were on the same track, going the same way. The NTSB and Federal Railroad Administration are probably shitting themselves right now.

12:50 A passenger is telling NBC5 that everyone was really nice to each other right after the crash, helping and comforting one another.

12:53 The Amtrak train was only going 15-20 mph, but trains like this are really tough to stop.

12:56 Initial reports were that no passengers were critically injured, but Fox 12 just said that U of C hospitals are reporting at least one child has been seriously hurt. Also, Fox just went to commercial. Tacky!

1:00 Everybody is off the train; firefighters have gone all the way through checking for people. Passengers are still being treated in the triage area and are being sent to hospitals. NTSB is already heading to the scene.

1:03 Seems like a lot of the injuries are going to be facial wounds from people bashing their grills against the seats in front of them. News conference coming up....

1:05 WGN is actually showing Maury, not the breaking news. "I Slept With 100 Men...Who's My Baby's Daddy?" Swear to God. Somebody is not the father, and he is very happy.

1:12 Hm, all the TV stations are now back to their soaps. More around 4 with the local news.