Roughly 11 people per month have suffered injuries in D.C. Metro escalator accidents this year, according to the Washington Examiner. This is a jump from the roughly 8 injuries per month last year and 10 injuries per month in 2008.
A recent escalator accident was especially heart wrenching since it featured a four-year-old girl who fell and got her hand stuck in the escalator at the L'Efant Plaza Metro Station. The young girl suffered "severe hand injuries," according to the Washington Times.
What is the reason behind this sudden increase in Metro escalator accidents? No one can say for sure, but the fact that many of the escalators are just as old as Metro itself could play a role. In fact, Metro sources indicate that out of the 588 Metro escalators, 443 of them are over 25 years old. In addition, four of the seven manufacturers of these escalators are out of business which adds to the challenge of making dramatic re-designs and improvements to the current system.
Given the apparent upward trend of escalator injuries, it would make sense for Metro officials to perform a thorough overview of their escalator system and try to identify the escalators requiring extensive maintenance. Of course, this is extremely challenging with a bustling D.C. population that needs access to the escalators on a daily basis to get around town.
Would an in-depth repair be difficult? Of course; but something needs to be done to bend the curve of escalator accident injuries. One young child having their hand mangled by a Metro escalator is one too many.