Chicago news authorities reported that a fire in the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) red line subway station caused many passengers to experience Chicago personal injuries Sunday after suffering smoke inhalation or respiratory problems. Nineteen terrified Chicago red line riders went to hospitals after a fire apparently caused by an electrical spark between two rails that ignited a greasy lubricant sprayed on train wheels. The train traveled through flames before making it to a Chicago platform, where passengers walked through dense smoke to exits leading to street level. But, by passing through the station, the train dragged the smoke further in the subway. Two people remained hospitalized with personal injuries as of Monday.
The Chicago Tribune reported that CTA officials yesterday blamed antiquated train technology and a perennial funding shortfall for the subway fire, but rail experts said relatively inexpensive fixes would greatly enhance safety and pay for themselves by significantly cutting rail-car repair costs. Investigators are examining video of the Chicago incident and are interviewing the crews operating three trains as well as riders to determine whether the CTA passengers got timely information and instructions in the emergency.
Although this fire resulted in several Chicago personal injuries, it could have been much more devastating. Ridership numbers from 2009 showed that the CTA had over 500 million rides throughout the year. The Chicago injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti hope the CTA fire victims a speedy recovery and hope that improvements are made to the public transit to prevent such problems in the future.
More information about the Chicago Transit Authority fire is available by clicking the link.