5 injured in escalator accident in New Jersey

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Screams and panic engulfed a commuter rail station Monday morning when an ascending escalator changed direction and started to head back down, causing some people to jump off mid-ride.

A spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the station, said five people were injured when the escalator malfunctioned around 9 a.m. at the Exchange Place PATH station in Jersey City.

Three were taken to the hospital as a precaution, according to Port Authority Spokesman Ron Marsico. None of the injuries was considered life-threatening. They ranged from back and neck pain to scrapes, bumps and bruises, Marsico said.

Nick Lukish, of Brooklyn, N.Y., said he was headed to work and was midway up the escalator when the moving staircase started going down.

“There was a stampede at the base of the escalator,” Lukish said. “People started to panic and yell and scream, and I saw some people jump over to the down side of the escalator, so I jumped.”

The 33-year-old, who works in information technology at a bank in Jersey City, said it wasn’t until he got to work that he noticed he had cuts and bruises on his shins from the jump. After going to a pharmacy to get some bandages, he returned to the station to give his account to police.

A YouTube video showed some people jumping onto the divider between the up and down escalators as others shouted in alarm or tried to keep walking up.

Two of the station’s three escalators were shut down after the incident, forcing thousands of commuters to walk up the 128 stairs to the street.

The Exchange Place station suffered extensive damage during Superstorm Sandy. PATH officials were investigating what caused Monday’s escalator malfunction, “including whether Superstorm Sandy-related effects played a role,” Marsico said.

Escalator service at Exchange Place will be suspended through Tuesday morning, Marsico said, adding that workers were looking at all PATH escalators throughout the system.

More in Local News

Everett’s Donna Witte at the Seattle Women’s March last year. Witte plans to join the Seattle Women’s March 2.0 on Saturday. (Courtesy Donna Witte)
Everett events part of national ‘March to Impeach’

“The main thing that draws me out is the realization I have been taking this democracy for granted.”

Outgoing councilwoman honored by Marysville Fire District

The Marysville Fire District in December honored outgoing City Councilwoman Donna Wright… Continue reading

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Their grown children died, but state law won’t let them sue

Families are seeking a change in the state’s limiting wrongful-death law.

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Marysville hit-and-run leaves man with broken bones

The state patrol has asked for help solving an increasing number of hit-and-run cases in the state.

Everett man killed at bar had criminal history, gang ties

A bar employee reportedly shot Matalepuna Malu, 29, whose street name was “June Bug.”

2 names released from recent fatal crashes

Both men were killed earlier this month.

Most Read