Collapse of Drilling Rig at CTA Bryn Mawr Station Stops Trains and Damages Power Lines; Evacuated Building – CBS Chicago


CHICAGO (CBS) – A drill-head crane collapse outside the Bryn Mawr Avenue Red Line station stopped trains, damaged power lines and also forced the evacuation of a nearby building on Wednesday afternoon.

Chicago Transit Authority Red and Purple Line trains were pulled over between Belmont and Howard stops due to the collapse, as the afternoon rush began. By 4:42 p.m., the Red Line trains had resumed their entire journey, but did not stop at Bryn Mawr – but the Purple Line Express service was still suspended between Howard and Belmont.

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Trains would stop at Bryn Mawr again at 9 p.m.

The fire department was called for the collapse of construction equipment at 1119 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., which is the address of the “L” stop. The union at IOUE Local 150 said the piece of equipment that collapsed was an oil rig.

At a press conference, Chicago Fire District Chief John Gies said it was a drill-head crane used to drill a hole or caisson into which concrete will be poured. .

As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the operator – who is part of a Walsh Construction crew – was inside the crane drilling when he lost balance on the crane and it has overturned.

Berkin Ozisikyilmaz tweeted a photo that appeared to show the platform collapsing with a cloud of smoke or dust rising above.

A view from a nearby building showed the platform also tipped over a car parked in the area. The platform landed upside down.

At the scene, the cabin door to the platform where the operator is located was open. The operator was able to exit safely and was not injured. He refused to go to the hospital. No one else was injured either, despite the extremely heavy crane that fell to the ground.

The fire department reported that power lines in the area were damaged by the crane. A neighboring building on Winthrop Avenue had to be evacuated.

One of the evacuees was a woman named Abby, who couldn’t do much but walk around in circles in front of her apartment building after a long day at work.

“Some people actually took out luggage and I have a heavy bag,” Abby said. “If it doesn’t say ‘class’ I don’t know what it means. “

She was trying to find some humor after that horrible scene in the alley behind her apartment building.

“They said, ‘Take what you need,’ and I was so exhausted,” Abby said. “I’m not looking for luggage. I just throw things in a heavy bag.

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Gies said it would take some time to get the rig back in place, as it is a large piece of equipment that needs to be taken apart.

Residents of the building that was evacuated – which was also without power – will be staying somewhere until that happens.

Terry from CBS 2 spoke to a man who was on his balcony, which overlooks the construction scene. The man, Kevin Brown, saw the machinery and operator tip uncontrollably as he looked out the window.

“All the construction guys started yelling, like ‘No! No! No!’ and it all started to come, ”Brown said,“ and I just turned around and started running away from the crane. ”

Brown said many had expressed concern for the operator of the platform after the collapse, but it turned out to be fine.

“The crane itself was on the ‘L’ platform and it tipped over. he was therefore on his side. And I could talk to him. I could hear it easier than I can hear you because it was silent, ”Brown told Terry. “And everyone said, ‘Are you okay? And he said, “I already called on the radio, it’s okay,” and they brought a ladder and he walked the rest of the way on his own. “

The red line is being rebuilt in this area, and the nearby Berwyn and Lawrence Avenue stations to the south are closed for rebuilding. But Bryn Mawr station currently remains open.

CHECK: CTA updates

Bryn Mawr Avenue remained closed near the stage for hours afterwards. There have been reports of heavy traffic along nearby Broadway.

On Wednesday evening, the focus was on finding out what had happened. But no one in Abby’s apartment building could come home.

She was philosophical about it all.

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“Someone could have walked their dogs,” Abby said. ” It is necessary to relativize. No one was hurt.

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