Illinois Central train crash 1972: Hyde Park, Chicago event honors victims, survivors, responders of 27th Street Station accident

CHICAGO (WLS) — Fifty years ago, a historic Chicago train crash killed 45 people and injured 331 more.

The accident happened after a northbound Illinois Central commuter train overshot its platform at the 27th Street Station, where the Metra Electric line now runs, and proceeded to back up around a bend to allow its passengers to disembark. A second train, following behind on the same track, did not see the train until moments before impact.

Survivors said Sunday’s service is perhaps the first one to honor all of the victims, survivors and first responders from that day.

Survivors like a Lisa Klare, who was 17 at the time, spent hours trapped inside one of the cars on Sunday, October 30, 1972.

“We were inside of basically two trains by the time they found us. And they had to peel off all the dead and injured and metal to get to us to get us out,” Klare said.

It was a small service held in Hyde Park, but it was no less of a poignant one during which two women, who survived that deadly crash, told their harrowing stories, which even 50 years later, still sound like they were experienced only yesterday.

“And, the rescue workers were phenomenal,” Klare said. “They sent a fireman to stay with us the entire time. And it was pretty scary. We couldn’t feel our legs so we were pretty nervous about that. They’d injected us with shots of morphine to help with the pain.”

Klare said her hope is to drum up enough support to get a plaque installed near the accident site that will forever memorialize those who lost their lives that day.

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