Terrifying Escalator Malfunction Injures 20+ in Rome

October 24, 2018

Terrifying video footage surfaced on October 23 of an escalator malfunctioning inside a Rome metro station.

In the video, the escalator moves downward at breakneck speed as hordes of people are hurtled to the bottom. A man on the parallel escalator pulls one person to safety. The incident injured more than 20 people, according to Vice.

(Translated from Russian by Microsoft on Twitter: Another video from the Roman Metro, which shows that CSKA fans were coming down the subway quietly #РомаЦСКА #RomaCSKA)

Photos taken after the accident show mangled and twisted metal at the bottom base of the escalator.

(Translated from Italian by Microsoft on Twitter: #Rome #23ct 19:45, yields escalator #metroA station #republic: intervention #vigilidelfuoco in progress to rescue the injured)

Italy’s fire and rescue agency say that all the wounded were rescued and taken to hospitals.

(Translated from Italian by Microsoft on Twitter: #Roma #metro #Repubblica, update at 9.00 pm: the first phase of the #vigilidelfuoco intervention has been #completed, all the injured have been rescued and sent to hospitals. The safety intervention continues)

[On topic: Trim Your Escalator’s Energy Bill]

The cause of the malfunction is still under investigation, but some reports mention that at the time, hundreds of soccer fans were traveling to watch CSKA Moscow’s match with Roma in the group stages of the Champions League.

According to ABC News, witnesses provided conflicting reports of the travelers singing, dancing or jumping. The BBC reports that Atac, the local transport authority, carries out monthly maintenance checks on the station’s escalators. But many are calling for more action to be taken in light of this accident.

“The members of NEII are thinking of those injured & impacted by the #escalator accident in Rome. While escalator accidents are rare compared to millions of incident-free passenger rides daily, the industry continuously works to improve #safety & encourages safe riding practices.” — NEII (@NEII_Tweets) October 24, 2018

“The problem seems to have been due to an overload on the escalator,” Michele Frullo, from Italian trade union USB, told The Guardian. “We ask for maintenance works carried out by external companies to be monitored; for some time now we have called for such fundamental Atac jobs to be internalized.”

The Guardian also reports that escalators inside Rome’s metro stations have a lifespan of 30 years, and this particular escalator was less than 10 years old.

[Read also: Top 10 Ways IoT is Changing Elevators]

Kevin Brinkman, vice president of codes and safety for NEII stated:

“In the U.S. and Canada, the ASME A17.1/CSA B44 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators recommends that all forms of building transportation be tested annually, and inspected every six months, for compliance with applicable standards.”

Two handpicked articles to read next:

Profile picture for user Sarah Kloepple
About the author
Sarah Kloepple | Associate Editor

Sarah joined the BUILDINGS team as an associate editor in August 2018. She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, where her focus was magazine writing. She's written and edited for numerous publications in her hometown of St. Louis.