Officials fire sleepy operator who crashed Blue Line train near Chicago's O'Hare

By Kyle Johnson,

The operator who admitted to falling asleep before the train jumped the track and crashed at the Chicago O'Hare International Airport stop has been fired, transit officials said on Friday.

After two serious safety violations, an operator can be fired by transit authority, reports Reuters. Chicago Transit Authority spokeswoman Tammy Chase said "an incident of this severity is sufficient for termination."

The operator also said she once overran a station on her route in February. She had only been on the job for about 60 days before the crash.

As previously reported, the operator confessed to the NTSB she had fallen asleep and didn't wake up until the train jumped the tracks and crashed into the station. Because it was only 3 a.m. in the morning, there were few people at the stop, so only 30 people suffered any injuries.

Officials estimate that it will cost about $6 million to fix the track and equipment damaged by the train.

The CTA announced that as a result of the accident, there will be schedule changes so that operators with less than a year experience under their belt only work 32 hours during a week. There must also be at least one rest day during a work week and shifts will be shortened.

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