According to WABC 7 Eyewitness News, a 21-month old boy got his hand stuck between two steps in an escalator after he tripped and fell around 10:48a.m., Friday, February 22, 2013. The boy was riding with an adult on the escalator, located inside a Barnes & Noble bookstore at the corner of Broadway and 82nd Street when the incident occurred. According to an unnamed employee, the escalator automatically stopped shortly after the boy’s hand became entrapped. The boy was able to free himself shortly thereafter. Firefighters arrived and treated the boy at the scene for a hand laceration. Read the full story published February 22, 2013.
This young boy was incredibly fortunate in that the step-upthrust safety device apparently functioned as designed. The step-upthrust device automatically stops an escalator when an obstruction is detected in the lower-curve area, which would cause a step to be elevated higher than usual, which in turn would cause an impact with the comb plates at the bottom landing. Although the child did suffer a cut to his hand, his injuries might have been far more severe or even fatal if the escalator had continued to run while his hand was entrapped. This incident also highlights an important but basic elevator safety rule: always hold a child’s hand when riding an escalator. Never allow children to play around or run on escalators.