Chicago Train Operator Said She Was Tired

She 'worked a lot of hours' before O'Hare crash, per the union
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2014 1:06 AM CDT
A derailed Chicago Transit Authority train car rests on an escalator at the O'Hare Airport station early yesterday.   (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
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(Newser) – Was a Chicago Transit Authority train operator asleep at the controls when her train jumped the tracks and went up an escalator? The chief of the CTA's union says the driver may have dozed off before the 3am accident that left 32 people injured, reports NBC. "The indication is there, yes," the union chief says. "She has worked a lot of hours in the past weekend, and the indication is there." But he says she had 17 hours between shifts to get some rest, and "has assured me there is no problem with her passing the drug and alcohol, so that is not a factor in this."

The union chief says the operator told him after the accident that she was tired, reports the Chicago Tribune. The NTSB's investigation will also focus on the speed the train was going as it entered the O'Hare International Airport station, and on whether the safety control system was working when it smashed through a" bumping post" at the end of the track. None of the injuries from the crash are considered life threatening, though it's "a miracle that nobody died," a transportation expert tells the AP. Officials say scores of people could have been killed if the accident had happened at a busier time of day.

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