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Common Reasons For Escalator Injuries: Crowd Panic

Escalators are great devices when it comes to moving large groups of people from one place to another. But, when there are crowds of people, it is easier for people to get hurt. This oftentimes occurs when there is a panic in a public place. If one person becomes anxious and tries to run away from a potential disaster, it likely doesn’t cause a problem. But what happens when dozens or hundreds of people try to do this? It can cause a lot of confusion and injuries, especially if you are standing on an escalator. On this page, I will discuss injuries that result from crowd panic and escalators in more detail.

Reasons for Panic

Panic can break out in large crowds of people for various reasons. One common reason is the threat of attack by another person. For example, if you see a person with a gun in a crowd or if you are informed that there is a bomb in the building that you are in. Naturally these dangers will cause people to try to get away from the danger, but they will likely do so in a frightened and scattered manner.

Other threats that could create panic are natural disasters, such as the outbreak of fire or an earthquake that affects the building you are in. Even the threat of these issues can cause panic and injuries.

Finally, accidents can cause panic, such as a malfunction with the escalator itself. If the escalator starts speeding up, or if it malfunctions and there is an explosion on the escalator, it can cause people to panic. They will likely try to get off of the escalator as quickly as possible, with little regard for the people around them. This can lead to injury.

What to Do in a Panic

It can be very difficult to control a crowd of people who are afraid. If possible, your first step should be getting off the escalator in a safe manner. Don’t try to jump over the edge of the escalator and don’t push the people in front of you. Scrambling to get off the escalator in an unsafe manner will just cause more problems. You might not think that you pushing someone in front of you is a big deal, but imagine dozens or hundreds of people pushing others. People could fall or be crushed.

If you are able to get off of the escalator, try to get to the edges of the crowd. You don’t want to be in the middle, again a place where you can be pushed or crushed. Try to get to the edges where there are not a lot of people.

Try to remember to stay calm and think logically. This will help you find the best way to exit the facility and stay safe. If you are injured, seek medical attention as soon as you can.

Getting Help

Establishing fault for injuries sustained in a panic can be difficult. It can be difficult to determine who caused the panic or who injured you if you were injured. However, if the panic started because of an escalator malfunction, you and others who were injured can likely sue the escalator manufacturer or owner. If you would like to pursue this option, please contact my office for more information.