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FBI Probes Track Tampering Incident on Chicago Commuter Line

September 29, 2007  | 

The FBI is investigating who may have pulled 12 railroad spikes from a section of Chicago’s Metra Electric Line. The sabotage could have derailed the train and killed hundreds of passengers.

Metra employees discovered the sabotage on Monday.

“No one has claimed responsibility or called in a threat,” FBI spokesman Ross Rice told the Chicago Tribune. He added, “This is a serious incident, and we are aggressively investigating.”

The Tribune reported that the investigation is focusing on a domestic violence case in which a Metra engineer allegedly has been harassed by her estranged husband.

A railroad expert said that removing the spikes is not easy to do, and it could have resulted in a major train accident.

“If a sufficient number of spikes are removed in a contained location, there’s the potential for the rail to shift, which would lead to disastrous results and train derailment,” said Steve Kulm, a spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration.

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