Red Line Subway Fire: Smoke from Burning Railroad Ties Injures 19 — Respiratory Problems


Cell phone video showing thick, black smoke just south of State and Bellevue.

CTA ‘L’ Train Service Alerts | Google Transit —

Chicago Fire Department responded to a subway fire just after 5:00 p.m. Sunday in the 1200 block of North Clark. At least five people were seriously injured. A total of 19 people were reported injured — transported to hospitals with smoke inhalation and respiratory problems. A second alarm fire response was requested, and then a second alarm EMS (EMS PLAN 2) was requested, which brought about 10 ambulances to the scene. All people have been evacuated from the subway.

Some railroad ties were reported on fire with the fire brought under control quickly. Heavy smoke conditions were reported coming Bellevue and State — possibly the intersection closest to the burning railroad ties.

Railroad ties caught fire shortly after 5 p.m. on the northbound track near State and Bellevue between the Red Line stops at Chicago Avenue and Clark/Division. Black smoke was rising out of several subway grates and vents in the area. A cell phone video originating at State and Bellevue and published on YouTube showed thick smoke on just south of Morton’s Steak House, Gibson’s and Dublins — looking toward Trader Vic’s and the intersection of State and Oak. Smoke was coming up from grates on both sides of State Street, but especially the east side.

Three trains were affected near the fire. At least one train stopped near the fire scene and filled up with smoke. Most people were evacuated near Clark and Division. Victims were also transported from the Chicago Avenue Station.

Transit services in the subway were restored by 8:00 p.m. Sunday.

View Red Line Station Clark & Division street view in a larger map

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