Five people were injured when a train station escalator in New Jersey suddenly reversed on Monday morning.
According to a CNN.com report, three people needed to be taken to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries. They were on an escalator at Exchange Place station in Jersey City, N.J., on Monday morning when the moving staircase suddenly reversed at a high rate of speed. The three seriously injured suffered neck and back injuries caused by the jostling they endured when the escalator malfunctioned.
One witness, 30-year-old Alex Rodriguez, told CNN that he was on the opposite escalator when the other staircase started moving in the wrong direction suddenly. He said it got so fast that people started “piling up” at the bottom of the machine because they couldn’t get off it fast enough. It took about a minute for the escalator to finally stop moving after it had spun the wrong way. Rodriguez shot a video of the incident with his mobile device and in it, people can be seen scrambling to climb the escalator as it tried to move them the opposite direction.
The witness said those on board the staircase were crying as it continued to move. Others jumped off the side of the staircase in an attempt to avoid injury.
Officials with Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) are investigating what may have caused the escalator at the Exchange Place station to suddenly move in reverse and at such a high rate of speed that people were unable to get off the machine in an orderly manner. Some suggest that the after-effects of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy may have been the root of the problem, indicating that there may be longer-term residual effects of the storm’s damage.
This incident was dubbed the “icing on the cake” as far as problems since the storm at Exchange Place and other train terminals that were directly impacted by the brutal effects of the hurricane.
Escalator services at the Exchange Place station had been suspended through Tuesday morning. Stairs and elevators are available to the commuters who visit that station Tuesday.