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Metra Train Hits Post In Chicago, Injuring 14 Commuters In Service's Second Accident Monday

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METRA
A commuter train at right is seen after it hit a "bumping post" at the end of the LaSalle Street station platform in Chicago. No passengers were injured in the accident, which happened around 6:15 a.m. It was the first of two such incidents during the morning. A rail official says 14 passengers were injured in a second accident at the same station around 8:45 a.m. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHICAGO (AP) — Fourteen passengers were injured Monday when a commuter train hit a "bumping post" at a downtown Chicago station, the second such accident of the day, rail officials said.

It was not immediately clear whether the train slid or if there was a mechanical or braking problem, but all trains were subsequently ordered to enter downtown stations at "walking speed" to prevent further incidents, said Michael Gillis, spokesman for the Metra commuter rail agency.

The accident happened about 8:45 a.m. as the Rock Island District line train from Joliet reached the end of the platform at the LaSalle Street station with 175 passengers aboard. Six passengers were taken to hospitals with minor injuries, and the others refused treatment, he said.

Another train hit a bumping post around 6:15 a.m. No passengers were injured in that incident, but the train and post were damaged, officials said.

Gillis said the agency is still investigating what caused the incidents.

"Obviously we're looking to see if weather played a role," he said.

Temperatures in Chicago were around 15 below zero, with wind chills as low as minus 40.

Court reporter Kathy Marthaler of Mokena, Ill., was on the earlier train.

"It was like a big boom and a good jolt," said Marthaler, who said standing passengers scrambled to stay upright. She walked about six blocks through below-zero weather to the courthouse, only to learn that the trial had been canceled.

"I risked my life on the train, then I risked it again in the cold," she joked, as she waited at the station to take a train back home.

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