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Faulty escalator terrifies metro passengers, raises safety concerns

Scores of Maryland residents make frequent commutes to nearby Washington D.C., either for work or pleasure. Therefore, many readers may be familiar with the D.C. metro system, including the large escalators which bring passengers to and from stations. Frequent metro users enter and exit these escalators without a second thought, sometimes sprinting through the steps to avoid missing a train. However, many commuters may think twice before stepping onto the moving staircase after witnessing a dramatic escalator accident at the Foggy Bottom Metro Station.

Just over a week ago, a Foggy Bottom escalator malfunctioned, causing several of the machines steps to buckle on top of one another. The incident forced the entire faulty escalator to jerk, causing some passengers to fall on the steps.

Although, fortunately, no one was injured in this most recent metro escalator accident, passengers told reporters that they were terrified for their safety. D.C. metro escalators are generally very tall, creating a very treacherous situation for passengers at risk of falling down the stairs.

Other commuters expressed anger and frustration with the poor condition of metro escalators. One daily metro user was unsurprised by the accident, stating that similar problems happen quite often. Just today, new online footage was released of a previous escalator accident at the L'Enfant Metro station which injured several people.

The Foggy Bottom escalators are especially problematic, and one of the station's machines is currently under construction as part of a year-long repair process. Accidents such as this may cause city officials to invest more time and energy in maintaining functional and secure metro escalators, in order to reassure commuters that they can enter and leave the premises safely.

Source: Fox News, "Escalator Steps Collapse at DC Foggy Bottom Metro Station." Maureen Umeh, 18 February 2011

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