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UPDATED 02/09/12 7:40 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Red Line CTA trains were severely disrupted Thursday morning after a derailment and small fire in the Red Line near the Roosevelt stop.
Two people were slightly hurt when something touched the third rail around 2:10 a.m. Thursday, in what the Fire Department is characterizing as a minor derailment. There was smoke in the subway near Roosevelt Road, the Fire Department said.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports
Chicago Transit Authority spokeswoman Molly Sullivan said there was a “very minor” fire following the derailment.
George Jenkins was one of the passengers on the Red Line train that derailed. He said the train was almost at the Roosevelt stop when it passed another train going south.
“All of a sudden, the train started rocking, it’s bumping – it left the tracks. Then the sparks were flying, and flames started coming up,” he said.
Jenkins said passengers were terrified.
“Everybody was scared, and some of the women were screaming,” he said.
The train was evacuated, and the passengers were led to the Roosevelt platform and taken upstairs. The sickened people were taken to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center after breathing a small amount of smoke that aggravated their asthma.
Following the derailment, power was cut between the Fullerton and 35th Street stations.
As late as 5 a.m., southbound red Line trains were running on the elevated tracks the Loop instead of heading into the subway in Lincoln Park. They are running until the 35th Street stop, where shuttle buses are taking them to the Green Line 35th Street station to continue south.
Northbound Red Line trains ran from 95th Street to 35th Street, where shuttle buses took riders a few blocks east to the 35th Street Green Line station to continue north to downtown.
Shuttle buses ran from 35th Street all the way to Fullerton Avenue in lieu of regular Red Line service.
Delays also affected Green Line service, and thus, shuttle buses ran between 35th Street and the State/Lake station. Orange Line trains were also affected.
By 6:30 a.m., power had been restored train service was again running normally, but delays were still reported.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.