Woman seriously injured by falling debris at Union Station: 'My head was gushing blood'

FOX 32 NEWS - Falling debris at Union Station hit three people Tuesday, seriously injuring one woman who was hit in the head.

“As I was standing in line on the platform to exit on the Madison Street side, I felt something very hard, very heavy, sharp hit me on the top of my head,” said Hilda Piell of Northbrook.

It was a blow that left her stunned.

“The people around me starting crowding around me asking are you OK, are you OK, you're bleeding, which is when I put my hand to the top of my head and realized that my head was gushing blood, my hand was covered,” Piell said.

It happened on track 9 after the Metra Milwaukee North line had arrived at Union station at 8:37 Tuesday morning.

It'a a commute Piell has made for 13 years, and while she's noticed the deteriorating conditions, she never expected to have concrete falling on her head.

“Someone could've been killed today, I could've been killed today and the fact that I was standing there and that I'm back home with my family, I'm incredibly grateful,” Piell said.

Amtrack, which runs Union Station, shut down the tracks until the situation could be assessed and made safe.

Chicago Sun-Times Columnist Neil Steinberg and his wife were standing right near the woman and were themselves hit by dust and smaller debris.

“As a daily Metra commuter, it's sort of worrisome to think any of us could get clocked at any moment, I'm tempted to wear my bike helmet there tomorrow,” Steinberg said.

Piell suffered a fractured skull, but did not require stitches. She's not looking forward to Wednesday’s commute.

“I am going to take the train tomorrow, I have no choice, I have to use it. And I understand that they are aware of the issue and I hope that they're taking steps to repair the situation and immediately,” Piell said.

Amtrak said it was assessing the area and hoped to reopen the three tracks it closed as soon as the assessment was complete.

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