CHICAGO — The operator of the CTA train that jumped a platform and climbed an escalator at O’Hare International Airport had worked 69 hours in the week before Monday’s crash, the rail union chief said Friday, saying the agency’s way of scheduling workers needs to be changed.

CHICAGO — The operator of the CTA train that jumped a platform and climbed an escalator at O’Hare International Airport had worked 69 hours in the week before Monday’s crash, the rail union chief said Friday, saying the agency’s way of scheduling workers needs to be changed.


The operator has told investigators she "dozed off" just before the train hit a post, catapulted onto the platform and scaled an escalator early Monday morning. More than 30 people were injured, none seriously.


Robert Kelly, head of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, said the operator was working "extra board," meaning she called in around 4:30 p.m. each day to learn her shift.


"That’s the life on the extra board," the union chief said. "We have a problem with it. It’s been a concern of ours.


"Obviously we can’t do nothing about it now," he said, but the union plans to bring it up during contract talks at the end of 2015.


Kelly also questioned why an automated braking system did not stop the train.


"The bottom line now is we have to figure out what went wrong," Kelly said. "Because the real issue here, as far as I’m concerned, is not that an operator nodded off. There are mechanisms in place to stop this train. It didn’t happen.


"We know what changes need to be made. We do this on a daily basis," Kelly added. "I can tell you from my membership this week, a lot of them are very distraught over this. This girl is torn to pieces over this."


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