32 people were injured when a train “jumped up on the sidewalk” at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport at 2:50am on Monday morning, according to police.
Authorities believe that the eight-coach train may have been going too fast, causing it to career through the station's shock absorbers, mount the platform, and hit the escalators leading to terminals at one of the busiest airports in the US.
“The train actually climbed over the last stop, jumped up on the sidewalk and then went up the stairs and escalators,” Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said.
No one suffered life-threatening injuries in the Blue Line derailment, he added.
Chicago Transit Authority spokesman Brian Steele told reporters that it was too early to say what caused the crash but said video footage was being reviewed, personnel were being interviewed and the National Transportation Safety Board had been notified.
“It appears as though the train would have been going faster than a train normally berthing at this station would be,” he said. “ Normally a train pulls in at just a couple miles and hour and pulls into the station. Obviously this train did not stop so speed could be a factor here.”
Mr Steele added that crews were working to remove the train and fix the escalator, and are not sure when the station will reopen.
“I thought it was just a hard stop at the train didn't even slow down when it was coming in,” a Transportation Security Administration employee, who wanted to remain anonymous, told NBC Chicago.
“It was chaos. ... People were freaking out. Trying to figure out what happened. Trying to make sure everyone was okay.”
12 people were sent to Resurrection Medical Center, where they were listed ‘in fair condition' after being treated for bumps and bruises, according to the US network.
Another seven people were taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital with reported neck and back pain. A supervisor at Swedish Covenant Hospital added that the facility had received five people from the crash, according to NBC Chicago.