A teen’s hand became stuck in an escalator at Washington’s Smithsonian metro station on Tuesday evening, after the 14-year-old attempted to rescue a flip-flop that was caught in the moving stairway.
WTTG-TV/Fox5 reports how the teenager waited for 40 minutes to be freed by emergency personnel, who had to dislodge four of the victim’s trapped digits. The station added that the youngster was ‘stoic’ throughout his ordeal.
The victim, a Canadian tourist, first got his flip-flop stuck at the bottom of the stairs, in a part of the escalator known as the ‘comb’; where steps disappear before returning to the top.
Fortunately, the teenager’s injuries did not prove life-threatening, and the Metro transit agency has since closed down the escalator to begin conducting an investigation.
Following the incident, Metro also repeated its warning about the potential problems posed by wearing flip-flops on such escalators. The problem becomes exacerbated in hot weather, when materials such as rubber and other soft substances are liable to ‘sink’ into ridged escalator steps.
It’s been quite a few days for escalator mishaps – only last Friday, a woman in a wheelchair attempted an ill-advised maneuver as she tried to use an upwards-moving escalator; the result was inevitable, and thankfully nobody was injured.
You can watch a full WTTG-TV/Fox5 news report about the incident at the station’s site.