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PORTLAND --- A woman was critically injured after she was hit by a MAX train in Southwest Portland Tuesday evening, police said.

Erin Pierce, 33, was struck just before 6 p.m. by an eastbound train near the Southwest Jefferson Street station, under the Vista Bridge, said Portland Police Bureau Sgt. Pete Simpson.

The train was full of passengers when it hit Pierce.

We came out of the tunnel and the train wasn't going that fast, and there was a loud thump, said passenger Randy Wyszynski, who was sitting right behind the driver. The driver was very shaken up. I tried to comfort her. What she saw, it seems like it was pretty terrible.

Passengers were evacuated as firefighters worked for about an hour to get the Pierce off of the tracks. She was taken to Oregon Health & Science University with life-threatening injuries.

Shuttle buses took passengers around the closure area for nearly three hours.

TriMet spokeswoman Roberta Altstadt said investigators were working to figure out why Pierce was in a restricted area near the tracks.

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