Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Escalator malfunctions and injures 5 people

Five people suffered minor injuries in a bizarre and terrifying escalator malfunction at the Exchange Place PATH station this morning. Because really, the last thing you want to have happen on a Monday morning is to have your crowded "up" escalator start going down. Fast.

A tipster sent into the following report from the scene. A report which will now be going into our 'anti-bucket list' because please no:

"I was exiting the station at a few minutes before 9am. There are three escalators in the station…. one of them is still out of service due to Sandy. So there is one escalator going up, and one going down at the moment.

Well, during morning rush hour, there are more people exiting the station than the escalators can handle so there is very often a big back-up at the bottom of the escalator with people waiting to go up.

Well this morning I’m about 2/3 of the way up the escalator (and anyone familiar with it knows it is a LONG escalator) - when suddenly the escalator stops and starts moving in reverse. And then it starts picking up speed, until its moving backwards at an incredibly high rate of speed. Faster than I ever thought an escalator could move. Suddenly there are about 20 to 30 people piled up at the bottom of the escalator because people couldn't get out of the way fast enough. Seeing the pile I was about to be heaped on top of, I made the sudden decision to jump off the escalator on to the adjacent escalator.

10 / 15 seconds later the escalator had been stopped but the station was full of panic and mayhem. It was one of the craziest situations I've ever experienced during my morning commute.?

Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico confirmed that five people were hurt when the escalator started moving in the wrong direction. "Fortunately none life-threatening," he added. The cause of the accident is not currently clear—however we wouldn't be surprised if the damage from Hurricane Sandy had something to do with it.

This escalator accident comes almost exactly a year after an escalator malfunction at the World Trade Center PATH station caused serious headaches and claustrophobia-inducing photos (but thankfully no injuries).


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