Up to 100 Passengers Evacuated After Chicago Subway Train Stalls

Up to 100 passengers were evacuated from a subway tunnel Tuesday after a single train stalled and officials shut down all service on a major route between downtown and O'Hare International Airport.

Four people were taken to hospitals but none of their injuries were considered life-threatening, Chicago Transit Authority president Ron Huberman said.

One eight-car train stalled shortly after 8 a.m. inside a tunnel near the station at Clark and Lake streets in Chicago's Loop and some passengers jumped off, Huberman said.

CTA employees attempted to get those passengers back on the train, but because some refused, the authority shut down power to the whole Blue Line to make sure no one touched the electrified third rail.

As many as 100 passengers had to be evacuated from that first train and two others that stopped inside the tunnel when the power was cut, authority spokeswoman Sheila Gregory said.

CTA officials said the first train was stalled by an electrical problem.

Power was restored just before noon to the Blue Line, which runs from downtown to O'Hare and the northwest as well as south and west of the downtown area.

The Blue Line, which includes some elevated sections, carries 60,000 people a day. Riders have long complained about problems with the deteriorating system, including trains that crawl at speeds of 5 mph in spots where the tracks are particularly shoddy.

Last year, The Associated Press reported that about one-third of the system's rail cars exceed the 25-year maximum recommended by federal authorities. Huberman said Tuesday the cars of the train that stalled went into service in 1969.

Last September, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a blistering report saying a seriously flawed inspection and maintenance program likely played a major role in a 2006 derailment and fire that injured more than 150 people, six seriously.