Amtrack Passenger Train Collides With Freight Train

Friday, November 30th 2007, 12:27 pm
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) _ An Amtrak passenger train plowed into the back of a freight train Friday on the south side of the city, seriously injuring at least five employees, fire officials said.

Up to 150 passengers were on the Amtrak train when it came to a ``very hard stop,'' Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said. Fifteen ambulances were on their way to the scene.

Passengers, many of them carrying winter coats and luggage, streamed off the trains with the help of rescue workers. Some held the hands of small children. Most passengers walked away from the accident, but some were taken away on stretchers.

The five Amtrak employees who had serious or critical injuries were in the train's engine at the time of the collision, officials said.

The engine of the Amtrak train was resting on top of the last car of the freight train, but the Amtrak passenger cars remained upright. The red freight train's corrugated boxcar was crushed.

Most of the damage was concentrated on the passenger train's engine, Langford said.

The train was traveling from Grand Rapids, Mich., to Chicago when the accident occurred in a rail yard south of Union Station, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said. Langford said that it was unclear what caused the accident, only that the two trains were on the same track.