Chunks of Concrete Fall, Fracture Commuter's Skull at Union Station - NBC Chicago

Chunks of Concrete Fall, Fracture Commuter's Skull at Union Station

Material that fell and struck the woman "fell from non-railroad structures built over the tracks," Amtrak spokesperson says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chunks of Concrete Fall from Union Station Ceiling, Fracture Commuter's Skull

    A commuter at Union Station, which is beginning a massive makeover, was struck in the head and suffered a fractured skull after concrete fell from the ceiling, according to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg. NBC5's Dick Johnson reports. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016)

    A commuter at Union Station, which is beginning a massive makeover, was struck in the head and suffered a fractured skull after concrete fell from the ceiling, according to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg.

    The woman, Hilda Piell, said she didn't know what hit her.

    "Chunks of concrete, I don't know if it was one chunk or a bunch, just fell down and hit her on the head," Steinberg told NBC5.

    Steinberg and his wife felt smaller pieces of the decades old celling coated in soot from train exhaust. They immediately helped the woman, who is from Northbrook, as she was severely injured.

    "It hit her right here and she had blood dripping down her face and apparently a cracked skull," he said. "And she was going to go to work as a matter of fact, and my wife said 'no, you're bleeding profusely.'"

    Paramedics arrived at the station to tend to the woman.

    "I'm grateful it wasn't worse," Piell said.

    Steinberg said finding someone responsible proved difficult.

    "Metra runs the trains but they don't own the station," Steinberg said. "Amtrak owns the station but not the part that's falling on people's heads. It's like the waiter's going 'it's not my table.'"

    The material that fell and struck the woman "fell from non-railroad structures built over the tracks," according to an Amtrak spokesperson.

    "I don't know who is responsible for the upkeep, but someone is, and they need to make sure that they correct this very dangerous situation as quickly as possible," Piell said.

    The track and two others are now closed off while the area is being assessed, the spokesperson said.

    "They're planning to have luxury lounges and chi-chi stores, they should repair the ceiling so they don't bonk people on the head more," Steinberg said.

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