Woman Hit By Falling Debris At Decaying Union Station

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Metra train passenger is recovering at home after she was hit in the head by falling debris at Union Station. It literally cracked her skull.

She now wants other riders to be aware and is calling for major fixes to be made.

“All of the sudden I felt something very sharp and heavy hit my head,” Hilda Piell said.

At first, the Northbrook resident didn’t know what clocked her over the head.

“I touched the top of my head and realized there was blood gushing from my head,” she said.

It was several pounds of concrete falling from the ceiling near track 9 at Union Station.

Piell was hit as she exited her Metra train during the Tuesday morning commute, CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports.

“I was scared, I had no idea how badly I had been injured or what hit me.”

“I saw a woman two or three people ahead of me holding her hand to her head,” said Jonathan Sokolowski, a witness who was at the train station. He jumped in to help.

“Her head was bleeding quite severely,” Sokolowski said.

“What really bothered me is that Amtrak wouldn’t say how often this happens,” said Chicago Sun Times Columnist Neil Steinberg, who happened to also be on the same train.

“Now someone is hit..they should take care of it now, one hopes,” Steinberg added.

In 2015, CBS 2 Investigators highlighted some of the major structural issues at the decaying station, safety risks Piell wants addressed.

“I want the people responsible for maintaining Union Station, to make sure nothing like this ever happens again,” she said.

Tracks 9, 11 and 13 were shut down this afternoon and into the evening. CBS 2 is told this was done for repairs to be made so normal train operations can resume.

Meanwhile Piell said at this point, she doesn’t plan on taking any legal action.

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