The NTSB is expected to provide an update Saturday afternoon regarding their ongoing investigation into a CTA Yellow Line train crash involving snow removal equipment on Thursday that left 38 people injured.
NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy spoke at a news briefing on Friday, describing the actions authorities have taken so far and provided insight on the agency’s investigation process and next steps.
It is unknown what updates the NTSB has regarding their investigation.
Investigators spent a portion of Friday documenting the scene where a Yellow Line train collided with a piece of snow removal equipment on the tracks between Evanston and Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. Service was suspended following the collision and isn’t expected to resume until investigators finish processing the scene.
That will likely take five days, Homendy said.
“Our team wants to see everything as it was, take pictures that will help determine what additional information they may need eventually. Once that documentation occurs we can move the rail cars and equipment to a secure storage location that CTA owns…” she stated.
The NTSB has sent 14 personnel to Chicago, including one member of the Transportation Disaster Assistance Division, who solely focuses on assisting victims and families.
While in Chicago, investigators will conduct interviews with witnesses who were on the train and at the scene in hope of learning more about what transpired.
“We are only here to get the facts, we are here to get the perishable evidence, that’s the evidence that goes away once they reopen the line and clean everything up,” Homendy stated.
As part of the investigation, groups are being assembled to examine specific areas, including track conditions, communications, operations and braking systems.
A preliminary report solely containing facts of the incident and not analysis will likely be released in a couple of weeks, according to agency leadership.
The investigation itself could take more than a year to complete, with officials saying a final report should be released in 12 to 18 months. Once the NTSB completes its investigation, the agency may issue safety recommendations, if warranted, to prevent future incidents.