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Lightning Hits Blue Line Stop, Causing Explosions, Fire And Canopy Collapse

By Alex Nitkin | July 24, 2016 7:51pm | Updated on July 25, 2016 8:12am
 An explosion rocks the Blue Line platform at UIC.
An explosion rocks the Blue Line platform at UIC.
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NEAR WEST SIDE — The CTA Blue Line saw massive delays after lightning struck the platform at the UIC-Medical District station Sunday evening, causing explosions and fire, according to Fire Department officials.

Video from the scene shows electrical fires, several explosions and a partially collapsed roof at the station, which sits in the middle of the Eisenhower Expy.

Firefighters evacuated the train at the station and no one was hurt, according to Fire Cmdr. Walter Schroeder. 

The canopy over one of the station's pedestrian ramps collapsed, but the ramp itself was undamaged, according to Catherine Hosinski, a CTA spokeswoman. Crews are "working to fully restore service by the morning rush period," she added.

Alex Nitkin talks about the Blue Line lightning strike.

Trains in both directions are operating on a single track between Racine and Damen, causing delays, officials said.

It was part of a chaotic night for Chicago trains. On the North Side, fallen trees fell on the tracks near Armitage, disrupting Brown and Red line service.

Service was suspended between Armitage and Sedgwick, according to the CTA. Bus shuttles were set up through the affected area, and officials advised passengers to use alternate bus routes until the tracks were cleared.

The tree debris also halted Brown Line trains between the Loop and Southport stops earlier in the evening. Red Line service stopped from Belmont to Grand.

On the Near West Side, Blue Line service was suspended between the Pulaski and LaSalle stops, according to the CTA. Shuttle buses are available for connecting service from Pulaski and LaSalle.

Trains are currently operating in two sections, between Forest Park and Pulaski and between LaSalle and O'Hare, the CTA said.

Passengers were directed to the 126 Jackson Boulevard bus and the 50 Damen bus as alternatives.

Some of the debris also fell onto the outbound Eisenhower Expressway, blocking some lanes, according to reports.

Check back for updates.

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