CHICAGO (CBS) — Witnesses said there was a loud crack, and then a light pole came crashing down at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago, injuring a woman.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov was there when paramedics were securing the woman on a stretcher and putting her in the ambulance.
The base of the pole appeared to have significant rust.
One witness, who saw the light fall, said it just happened without warning.
Paramedics rushed to get the woman in an ambulance and treated minutes after a light pole outside the Thomspon Center slammed her to the ground. It appears to have snapped from its base.
Erin Heinz was about to cross the street, when it happened.
“She was obviously in shock, kind of shaking and shivering,” Heinz said. “I saw the light pole fall. And the lights just went scattering all over the place.”
That’s when she noticed it hit someone.
Heinz said she was one of several people who hurried to help the victim, who was bleeding from her head. They stayed with her until paramedics arrived.
Firefighters taped off the area around the heavy, mangled streetlight. A McDonald’s bag and drink still sitting near the streetlight’s debris. Later, Chicago Department of Transportation workers arrived to examine the scene.
A Chicago Fire Department spokesperson said the victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and her condition has been stabilized.
The Chicago Department of Transportation released the following statement late Sunday about the incident:
”CDOT’s top priority is maintaining the safety of the public way. Today at 1:45 p.m. we received a report that a streetlight pole was down on LaSalle Street between Randolph and Lake. A crew was dispatched immediately. We are in the process of making repairs and are investigating the incident to identify the cause and assess the condition of other poles nearby on LaSalle Street.”
CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini has found thousands of complaints about fallen poles across the city, identifying the neighborhoods most at risk. The 42nd Ward, which includes the Loop, had the second highest number of complaints.
In 2015, the CBS 2 Investigators exposed hundreds of other city light poles with rusted out holes. The city made repairs then.