Despite Metro warnings, boy gets caught in escalator

WASHINGTON – A 14-year-old boy was in stable condition Tuesday night after his hand was caught in an escalator.

The incident occurred at about 8 p.m. at the Smithsonian Metro station.

A Metro spokesperson says the boy’s flip-flop got stuck first at the end of the escalator, so he tried to free it with his hand when he got stuck.

The escalator was shut down and crews freed the boy after 30 minutes. He was taken to the hospital.

In anticipation of the dangers of esclators, Metro created advisory “Flip, Don’t Flop” to highlight safety concerns, particularly related to summer footwear.

Check out their tips:

  • Stand facing forward and hold handrail.
  • Never run on an escalator.
  • Hold children by the hand. Don’t allow children to sit or play on the escalator.
  • If your child is in a stroller, do not use an escalator. Use the elevator instead.
  • Hold on to the handrail to keep your balance. Never ride on the handrail.
  • Stand upright. Don’t lean on the side of the escalator or sit on the stairs.
  • Stay clear of moving parts. Keep your hands, feet, and clothing clear of the side panels of the escalator. Make sure you have no dangling clothing or loose shoelaces that could become caught in moving parts of the escalator.
  • Pick up your feet and step carefully on or off the escalator.
  • Exit promptly from the escalator. Never stop, stand or play at an escalator landing as this can cause a dangerous pileup.
  • On Metrorail, it is customary for riders to stand to the right while using escalators.

Metro also notes that soft footwear like flip-flops or Crocs slip-on shoes can “sink into an escalator step as you’re riding it,” creating the danger of being pulled into the comb plate. The transit agency recommends purposefully stepping over this yellow plate at the top of the escalator.

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