A Chicago train crash that injured dozens of people during Monday rush hour may have been deliberately triggered, authorities said.
The empty train rolled down an elevated track and collided with a commuter train loaded with early morning passengers. Officials immediately identified that a mechanical failure allowed the train to barrel down the track, but they are now investigating whether it was “deliberately set in motion,” a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told ABC News.
Chicago Transit Authority spokesman Brian Steele said investigators are just trying to cover all their bases.
“We have no indication at this point that there has been any criminal activity… but we are doing a thorough investigation. Everything that is a possibility is being looked at,” Steele said.
The Chicago train crash took place at 7:47 am at the Harlem Station in Forest Park, Illinois, just west of Chicago. The collision sent 33 people to hospitals, though none of the injuries are believed to be serious. The train was going 20 miles per hour when the collision occurred.
Police may be able to analyze surveillance camera footage of the Chicago train crash to determine what set it into motion. The train had a mechanism designed to stop it should it start to roll out of control, but somehow that failed.
Officials also weren’t sure why the empty train was still on the track. Normally they are cleared of the track to avoid potential collisions.
There were conflicting reports in the wake of the crash, including speculation — since debunked — that the train may have been hijacked. Initial estimates of injuries also ranged between 30 and 50.
The Chicago train crash halted traffic along the rail line, and it took two hours before service could be restored.