Amtrak locomotive fire injures 3 on Near West Side

HealthAmtrakUniversity of Illinois Medical Center at ChicagoNorthwestern Memorial Hospital

A fire that started inside the engine of a locomotive in a train yard southwest of the Loop has been controlled this afternoon after three people required treatment for smoke inhalation.

Fire Department crews were called to a train yard near Roosevelt Road and Canal Street at 4:04 p.m., according to spokeswoman Meg Ahlheim.

A locomotive’s engine in the yard was burning but the fire was extinguished at 4:33 p.m., she said.

Two people were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and one to University of Illinois Medical Center with smoke inhalation, all in good condition, Ahlheim said.

A mechanical problem erupted in Amtrak locomotive No. 71 while it was being worked on in Amtrak’s mechanical service area, said spokesman Marc Magliari.

The smoke was coming from an exhaust vent from a malfunctioning engine in the rail yard, according to the Fire Department.

Magliari said he was notified of two Amtrak workers who were taken to area hospitals to be checked out.

“It has not affected our afternoon operations,’’ Magliari said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

“It is not a common thing; it certainly will be investigated,’’ he said.

Thick black smoke could be seen billowing in the area west of Roosevelt Road and Clark Street, according to a witness.

As of 4:30 p.m. the blaze had not affected Metra’s service, according to spokeswoman Meg Reile.

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