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‘I heard it pop’: Eagles fan details the moment a Center City bus shelter gave out beneath her and others

The fall was captured on video and shared across social media as the internet marveled at Philly’s passionate NFC championship celebration

Ashley "Kilos" Mar was one of the Eagles fans who fell from a bus shelter in Center City when it collapsed amid celebrations after the Eagles won the NFC championship on Sunday. Paramedics tend to her after the collapse and put her in a neck brace.
Ashley "Kilos" Mar was one of the Eagles fans who fell from a bus shelter in Center City when it collapsed amid celebrations after the Eagles won the NFC championship on Sunday. Paramedics tend to her after the collapse and put her in a neck brace.Read moreAshley "Kilos" Mar

It was a sound that Ashley “Kilos” Marcial had never heard before.

One moment the Philadelphian was riding high, dancing on top of a SEPTA bus shelter near City Hall as thousands reveled in the street below her after the Eagles’ NFC Championship win Sunday evening.

Then, “I heard it pop,” Marcial said.

Suddenly the shelter’s plastic top burst, sending Marcial and about 10 others careening to the concrete below. A video of the scary and dangerous moment spread across social media in the hours after the incident.

Three people who fell, including Marcial, were sent to the hospital with injuries, according to a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Fire Department. And city officials responded to the accident by urging fans to stay off of bus shelters if the Eagles win the Super Bowl on Feb. 12.

Marcial was in good spirits during a Monday interview, but detailed the intense moments after the fall.

“I went down feet first because I was standing, but a lot of people got worse injuries than me because they were sitting,” Marcial said. “This one guy I was with, he had all this blood coming from the back of his head.”

Marcial said she fell feet first, bouncing off other people and hitting her head and back on the seat that was directly below the plastic roof. The impact was so intense, she passed out for several minutes before waking up when a friend pulled her away from the scene.

“I was trying to snap back into reality,” Marcial said. “I didn’t even open my eyes at that point — I couldn’t — but when I did ... I just saw all these people. I have high anxiety, so it was a little bit scary.”

Fire officials didn’t provide details Monday about the two other people injured, or how seriously they were hurt.

Across the city and at the stadium, the department responded to 54 game-related patients in total, from just before, during, and after the game. Thirty-one of those people were taken to hospitals, the spokesperson said.

Marcial said she was taken to Thomas Jefferson Hospital after being evaluated by paramedics. Surrounded by chaos, Marcial said, she was laid on her back and checked for neck and spinal injuries — and somehow managed to pose with a winning smile for social media as a friend snapped a photo.

“My biggest fear was my mom seeing me online before I could tell her what happened,” Marcial said.

At the hospital, Marcial said, a team of doctors evaluated her with a CT scan and X-rays before discharging her around 11 p.m.

“It was like 20 different doctors around me doing multiple things,” Marcial said. “They had to cut through my hoodie because they couldn’t take the neck brace off. It was just so fast-paced and crazy.”

As for the state of the city-owned bus shelter, a spokesperson for City Hall said in an email that the structure will cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair.

Joy Huertas, a spokesperson for Mayor Jim Kenney, said an exact estimate is not available. Huertas added that the same shelter, outside the McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks restaurant on South Broad Street, had been damaged during the 2018 celebration for the Eagles’ Super Bowl win.

“The structural load of people standing on the shelter roof is not commonly factored into shelter designs here in Philadelphia, or as far I can determine in any other city,” said Mike Carroll, the city’s deputy managing director for transportation. “Standing on the shelters is dangerous, particularly on our newer-design shelters, which have a glass roof.”

Carroll said he strongly discouraged standing on the shelters, and asked fans “to use good judgment as we celebrate the Eagles and all of our teams’ successes.”

Marcial likely won’t be climbing any greased poles anytime soon, but should the Birds best the Kansas City Chiefs for the Super Bowl championship in two weeks, expect to see her patched up and back in action.

“Definitely. I have to make my reappearance,” Marcial said with a laugh. “You only live once.”

Staff writer Sean Collins Walsh contributed to this article.

Correction: A previous version of this article included an incorrect last name for Ashley Marcial, who fell from the bus shelter.