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82-Year-Old Boston Woman Dies in MBTA Escalator Accident

In Boston, an 82-year-old woman was pronounced dead today at Massachusetts General Hospital after falling on an escalator at the MBTA’s State Street Station. Her clothing reportedly got caught in the escalator.

According to Boston EMS spokesperson Jennifer Mehigan, a “cardiac incident” and the “escalator accident” were both factors in the elderly Boston woman’s death. As of early this afternoon, it was still unclear whether the cardiac incident occurred before or as a result of the escalator accident. Meantime, the Suffolk district attorney’s office, MBTA Transit Police, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety are trying to determine what caused the incident.

This is not the first accident involving an MBTA escalator. Four years ago, a 34-year-old East Boston man died at the Porter Square station when his sweatshirt hood got caught in an opening in the machinery of the escalator. The movement of the escalator caused the opening of his sweatshirt to wrap more tightly around his neck.

In 1995, a 3-year-old Cambridge boy sustained a severe gash to his leg on an MBTA escalator. In 1996, a Beacon Hill man had have his arm amputated after his coat got stuck in the State Street Station escalator.

According to the Executive Office of Public Safety, the escalator involved in today’s deadly accident underwent its last inspection last May and no problems were detected at the time. There have been no reports since then of problems with the escalator.

Escalator Accident Facts
• Thousands of people a year are treated in US emergency rooms because of escalator accidents.
• Examples of potential hazards that can lead to elevator accidents include missing teeth at the top of the escalator and screws coming out of an escalator’s side.
• Common kinds of escalator accidents include fall accidents and entrapment accidents.
• Among the elderly, slip and fall accidents and trip and fall accident are the most common kinds of injury accidents to occur on an escalator.
• Young children is another group that is at high risk of getting hurt on an escalator.

There are many reasons why escalator accidents occur. Defective or malfunctioning escalators is just one reason that escalator accidents happen.

Woman dies in MBTA escalator accident, Boston.com, February 24, 2009
Rate Of Escalator Injuries To Older Adults Has Doubled, Science Daily, March 14, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Danger On The Escalator, CBS News, February 17, 2005
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

If you or someone you love was injured in a Boston escalator accident, you may have grounds to file a Massachusetts products liability or premises liability lawsuit. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today.