A woman was struck by a train this morning on Willow Street.
An MBTA commuter train, No. 1117 heading to Rockport, hit the woman around 9 a.m. Witnesses say the woman was standing by the side of the tracks on Willow Street, as if she were waiting for the train, when she was hit. Witnesses say she was caught under the plow or cowcatcher at the front end of the train.
"I saw them holding onto the lady's hand and talking to her," Phil Barnett of 6 Willow St. said of train personnel who immediately got off the stopped engine after the accident. "They yelled 'Call 911'."
Barnett called 911.
Glooucester resident Peter Luoni was sitting in on lawn chair at 12 Cedar St., which abuts the railway tracks, when the accident happened.
"I heard the horn blowing, and the train was going slower and slower, "" he said. "I saw her get dragged across the platform."
Luoni said it took about a minute for rescue personnel to get the woman out from underneath the train.
One of those people helping pull the woman out from the train was Scott Flanagan of 8 Cedar St.
"Me and him," he said pointing to the train's conductor, "pulled her out. She was kind of dazed. I leaned her against my knee and tried to comfort her as best I could. I asked her her name and how old she was.
"She was pretty calm and very polite given the circumstances," Flanagan said.
Both Luoni and Flanagan said the woman's knees "were cut up pretty bad."
Police immediately blocked off parts of Willow, Maplewood Avenue, Cleveland Street, and Elm Street. The train is stopped at the Daniel B.Stepenuk Railroad Crossing on Cedar Street.
Transit police from the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority are on the scene, working the investigation with Gloucester police.
Staff writers Sean Horgan and James Niedzinski contributed to this story.
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