Escalator Malfunction in Rome Injures 24

  October 29, 2018

By Greg Zimmerman

Facility managers know very well that out-of-service elevators and escalators are the source of a large majority of occupant complaints. But these are minor annoyances compared to the danger a malfunctioning escalator or elevator presents.

An escalator at a Rome metro station packed full of Russian soccer fans malfunctioned and then collapsed, sending dozens of people careening toward a pile-up at the bottom and sending 24 to the hospital. Three victims are in serious condition, and one man lost a part of his foot.

Reports and video from social media show several fans dancing and jumping on the escalator immediately before its collapse. According to the company in charge of the elevator, all maintenance and inspections had been completed “in accordance to the norms.”

In this FacilitiesNet article on elevator and escalator safety, author Charlie Slator of ATIS Elevator Inspections, says “the misuse of escalators … leads to many accidents. People often misuse escalators due to what they see in online videos.” He presents several tips for facility managers to ensure escalator safety, including posting safety instructions that include:

  • Never run or walk in the opposite direction.
  • Don’t sit on the steps.
  • Never ride without shoes.
  • Don’t drag feet along the edge.

This Quick Read was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management. Read his cover story on how buildings are tackling climate change.


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