Malfunctioning escalator injures 20 people

A video on social media captured the moment an escalator broke down in a metro station in Rome, injuring 20 people.

Posted: Oct 26, 2018 11:28 AM
Updated: Oct 26, 2018 11:28 AM

Twenty-four people have been injured after an escalator malfunctioned and rapidly sped downward at a Rome metro station, leaving passengers in a jumble at the bottom, Italian officials say.

Three of the victims are in a serious condition, including a man who partially lost his foot.

Most of those involved in Tuesday night's horrifying accident at Repubblica metro station were Russian football fans on their way to attend a Champions League match between Roma and CSKA Moscow, a spokesman with Italy's Fire Brigade said.

In footage on social media, people can be heard screaming as dozens are thrown toward the bottom.

Stefano Valentini, from the regional ambulance service, said those injured were transported to five different hospitals across the Italian capital.

One hospital, Policlinico Umberto I, located in Rome's San Lorenzo district, said a 33-year-old patient had a "complex trauma with a disassembled and exposed fracture of the lower right limb and fracture of the nose."

The victim, the hospital bulletin added, was immediately taken to surgery.

"The patient is now in post-operative intensive care," it said.

On Tuesday night, Rome's fire and rescue service posted a picture of the escalator steps which have been mangled due to the apparent malfunction.

A representative from ATAC, Rome's public transport company, said that "all maintenance checks of the escalator were carried out regularly and the results were in accordance to the norms."

Repubblica metro station remains closed, ATAC said on Twitter, due to ongoing investigations.

Rome's Public Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation into the cause of the accident, while ATAC also launched an internal probe.

Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi posted a Facebook live video from the scene on Tuesday night and said that she expressed her "solidarity to the injured" and that authorities need to understand what's happened.

She said that it appeared that "some Russian supporters were dancing and jumping on the escalator."

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