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Escalator Emergency Stop Button Saves Woman’s Life

In this scary video, footage of a woman getting caught and falling on an escalator really makes you appreciate the safety standards that are in place. If it weren’t for this escalators emergency stop button, there could have been a fatal end to this story. Luckily this woman survived.

During the year of 2013, there were a total of 12, 260 escalator related injuries and deaths according to the American Association for Justice. While some people may think that the only type of accident or injury that can occur on an escalator is to get a shoe snagged, that isn’t the case. Over three-quarters of escalator related injuries are at the result of falling. The escalator first came into use in 1892 and the design hasn’t changed much since then. The disappearing steps and landing platform make it prone to accidents. Recently, an escalator tore the toe off of a child wearing Crocs in Singapore, and caused a pileup when the brakes stopped working sending four to the hospital in an incident in Washington.


Escalator accidents can be categorized into two groups, those that occur on the escalator and those that involve falling on or off the escalator. David Cooper, an escalator and elevator consultant commented in a trade publication: “this is alarming given that many people within the industry have failed to realize that this is a major problem.”

In this terrifying clip, the unidentified woman steps onto the escalator and her jacket appears to get snatched under the railing. As she rides up, her arm is pulled back and she begins to fall. Fortunately, her sleeve unhooks itself but the poor woman loses her balance and tumbles down the still moving escalator. 

Just as it looks like she’s going to be severely injured by landing on her face, the escalator stops and she is able to maintain her balance and return to a seated position, clearly shaken. As the woman stabilizes, several people rush to her aid and escort her back down the escalator by first aid staff.  

Many would assume that this woman would be able to sue the location of the escalator company for the injuries she may have sustained but unfortunately, in several cases against escalator injuries and or deaths, the escalator companies are able to rule them out as horseplay or alcoholism. Some studies have been conducted around the world as incidents like this are common. One study in the Hong Kong Journal of Medicine conducted research on 104 patients and determined that escalator accidents can be divided into two common age groups: children five and under and adults 65 and over.

Incidents like this almost make you wonder if there should be more safety regulations when it comes to simple things like riding escalators. Many people might not be aware that there are actually safety instructions and regulations when it comes to riding escalators and what to do in emergency situations. The Maryland Department of Transportation offers several safety tips that include helpful suggestions such as, “stand upright, hold your child’s hand, and exit promptly” when using an escalator. It also provides the location of the emergency stop buttons, which are at the top and bottom, and when activated will cause the escalator to stop and an alarm to sound. Thankfully the elevator was stopped in time and this woman survived.


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