A youngster is recovering in the hospital Monday after he and other children slipped out from a sleepover and had a foot severed while attempting to jump onto a moving freight train well after dark in St. Paul, authorities said.

Police were alerted to the 7-year-old boy being hurt along the tracks that cross Plato Boulevard near Starkey Street to the south of the Mississippi River, said police Cmdr. Jeremy Ellison.

"He started getting dragged, and his foot got caught," Ellison said.

The boy was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul and is expected to survive, police said.

Police spokesman Steve Linders said the boy and his brother were spending the night with relatives on nearby Humboldt Avenue and "wandered away from the house" with a cousin.

The three youngsters spotted the slow-moving Twin Cities and Western train, and that's when the one boy "grabbed onto a train car, began to drag and his foot became stuck and then severed."

St. Paul's resident handbook states that unaccompanied minors under 15 years old are "not allowed to loiter or play on or in public places from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily."

Police have yet to release the identities of the children.

The train was hauling grain from central Minnesota to be transferred at the Union Pacific facility in St. Paul, close to where the boy was dragged, a Twin Cityes & Western executive said Monday.