Escalator breakdown injures 10 in Kawasaki

Kyodo

Ten people were injured Wednesday morning at a train station in Kawasaki when an up escalator suddenly came to a stop, police and firefighters said.

A man described as being 39 years old sustained a broken leg when the accident took place at Musashikosugi Station at around 8:20 a.m.

The others suffered lesser injuries.

When the escalator stopped, some of the people fell into their fellow riders, the police said.

The injured ranged in age from their 20s to 80s, the police said.

Police suspect the accident was caused by a malfunction.

According to the Kawasaki Municipal Government, which manages the escalator, it was manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric in 1996 and had no history of similar trouble.

It was last checked Dec. 20, and the next inspection was scheduled for Friday, officials at the municipal government said.

The escalator connects the JR Nambu Line and the Tokyu Toyoko Line.

The accident came in the middle of the morning rush hour and occurred in the key connection route between the two busy train lines.

“I heard people scream. When I looked out to see what was going on, an elderly woman was lying on the ground and more people were being moved out on stretchers,” said Takaaki Muto, 27, who runs a bakery near the accident scene.