EVANSTON – Disaster struck yesterday during peak El traffic when CTA employee Carl Elbers mistakenly opened the doors of all seven cars of a southbound CTA Purple Line train on the right side of the tracks at the Foster El Stop at 5:33 PM on Wednesday evening.
Multiple eyewitness accounts described the incident as “horrifying” and “inconvenient.” Sarah Kapoor, WCAS ’16, was walking home from class when she heard the screams. “I looked up and people just started falling and before I could even process what I was seeing, they had hit the concrete below. It was terrifying.”
NUPD Officer Tyrone Ellis, issued a statement on behalf of the police department. “We had great response time. It was a pretty terrible accident, but we got there so fast. We’re very good.”
While it is too early for an official casualty number, current estimates are 25 – 45 dead with more than 50 injured, but these numbers are expected to rise as authorities clear the area and some of the injured die.
CTA Purple Line service has been suspended but is expected to resume later today. CTA patrons are asked to redirect to the bus system or Metra for the time being.
Elbers was arrested for gross incompetence while operating an elevated train. His bail has been placed at $200,000.