By Angela Davis

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 7-year old boy is hospitalized after grabbing onto a slow-moving train and severing his foot.

It happened Sunday night at Plato Boulevard near Starkey Street in St. Paul. Police say the boy was watching a train go by, when he grabbed on. As he was being dragged, his foot got caught underneath.

WCCO’s Angela Davis spoke with St. Paul’s acting fire chief about the accident.

“I think regardless of what they were doing, the outcome is very unfortunate,” Acting Fire Chief Matt Simpson said.

Just after 10 p.m. Sunday, police say three boys walked up to a slow-moving train to get a better look at it.

“Those are intriguing sounds to anybody with curiosity, and kids are really curious. That’s what they do,” Simpson said.

Police say as the train passed, a 7-year-old boy reached out and held on. The train dragged him, and one of his feet got stuck underneath. One of the older boys was able to pull him to safety, but his foot was severed.

A bystander called 911.

“They found him with significant trauma to one of his legs. They went into a mode of let’s treat and transport quickly,” Simpson said.

Acting St. Paul Fire Chief Matt Simpson says the paramedics rushed the child to Regions Hospital. They described him as calm.

“Again the curiosity they have is so significant, they don’t understand the finality and ultimate consequences of their actions,” Simpson said.

Witnesses told police the victim and his older brother were spending the night with family when the kids left the home with a cousin, and ended up near the railroad tracks.

“Talk to your kids about how dangerous these trains are. They are extremely heavy. They will do damage to a vehicle like nothing,” Simpson said.

And even when moving slowly, they can severely injure a person.

We don’t have additional information on the child’s condition, only that he’s being treated at Regions Hospital and the injury is not life-threatening.

The president of Twin Cities and Western Railroad Company, which owns the train involved, called this a tragic accident and said his thoughts and prayers are with the victim and his family.

About 4 years ago, a 9-year-old boy lost both his feet in a similar accident.


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