MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 10-year-old boy is in critical condition at North Memorial Hospital after he was hit by a train and lost his leg Saturday afternoon.

It happened near 44th Avenue and Bryant Avenue as the train was heading through North Minneapolis.

Police say the boy and two friends were trying to hop on and off the slow-moving freight train.

That’s when the boy slipped and the train dragged and ran over him.

Neighbors who saw the accident told WCCO they’re hopeful it will shed light on the need for safety measures surrounding the tracks that run through an area full of children.

“I see it all summer. And every day if I’m out here they be running over there trying to beat that train,” said Nicole Coleman.

On one side of the Canadian Pacific railway a fence with locked gates puts a barrier between Webber Park and the tracks.

But nothing physically stands between the trains and the intersection of 44th and Bryant Avenue North where Coleman lives.

“So wide open. They need to do something about that,” Coleman said.

It’s where Coleman rushed to help three young boys.

“They was playing and he jumped and he missed the track,” she said.

Minneapolis police got a call around 1:30 Saturday afternoon from a concerned citizen reporting three boys were jumping on and off a moving freight train.

“Trains end up usually going slow through this area,” said John Elder of the Minneapolis Police Department.

By the time police arrived minutes later, the damage was already done.

“It was a bad tragedy. Yes it was. He had a cut over his face, his leg, you know, his leg came off,” Coleman said.

“Officers from the Minneapolis Police Department and the Park Police utilized tourniquets to ensure that the bleeding did not continue and likely saved that child’s life,” Elder said.

A life forever changed from a preventable tragedy.

“Everyone needs to stay away from trains,” said Elder. “The issue is when something does go wrong those trains aren’t able to stop the personnel on the train likely don’t even see the children.”

Police haven’t identified any of the children involved in the accident.

WCCO asked the city of Minneapolis the reason behind those specific safety measures along the train tracks, but there has been no response.