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updated: 7/21/2011 11:51 PM

2 killed in Metra accident outside Chicago

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Associated Press

OAK FOREST -- A Metra commuter train partially derailed in an accident with a car in suburban Oak Forest on Thursday, killing two women in the car and injuring several others, authorities said.

The front car of a train bound for Chicago "derailed slightly" around 4 p.m., said Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile. She said a car was involved in the accident.

Oak Forest Fire Chief Terry Lipinski said the dead women were in the car, which was dragged about a quarter of a mile after the accident, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

"I saw the car hit the train. It dragged it along. Oh my God. I was shaking," Jenny Wern of Mokena told the Sun-Times. "Then the front car derailed."

The medical examiner in Cook County confirmed that two people died. No further information about them was immediately available.

Reile said there were injuries to train passengers, but they didn't appear life threatening. Lipinski characterized them as "minor injuries," the Chicago Tribune reported.

Several passengers said they were afraid the train was going to tip over.

"All I heard was a boom, and we all thought we jumped off the rail," Tom Clifton of Frankfort told the Sun-Times. "You could tell we went off the tracks."

The train was carrying 89 passengers, who were evacuated to cooling buses, Reile said. The temperature in the suburb about 25 miles southwest of Chicago was more than 100 degrees on Thursday.

Nate Llewellyn, a spokesman for Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, said it received two patients and one was treated and released.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said federal officials had been notified of the accident.