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Chicago train operator admits dozing off before O'Hare crash

Published on Mar 27, 2014 7:04 AM
A derailed commuter train resting on an escalator at O'Hare international airport in Chicago on March 24, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS/NBC CHICAGO 

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The operator of a passenger train that jumped the tracks and ran part-way up an escalator at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport early on Monday, March 24, 2014, admitted that she dozed off and did not wake up until the crash, a federal investigator said.

The operator had been running Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) trains for about 60 days before the incident and was admonished in February for overrunning a station, Mr Ted Turpin, an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), said on Wednesday.

In the February incident, the operator told investigators she "closed her eyes for a moment", the CTA said. One train car had extended beyond a station platform, the report said.

"This time she woke up when she hit," Mr Turpin said, referring to the crash at 3am on Monday at the end of the line at the O'Hare station.

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