Mumbai: Two people were reportedly injured after the escalator on Platform No. 3 of Andheri railway station started moving in the reverse direction on Tuesday morning.
The injured were taken to the Emergency Medical Room (EMR) at the station for treatment. Western Railway officials said they would be working to resolve the issue of malfunctioning escalators at stations.
Around 50-odd passengers were on the escalator going down, when to their horror, the escalator began moving upwards and came to an abrupt halt only when a commuter had the presence of mind to press the emergency button. For a few moments, there was sheer panic and a near stampede-like situation, with people falling over each other as they tried to get off.
“It was a scary situation as the escalator suddenly stopp-ed and began moving in the opposite direction. Some people were injured and taken to the EMR for treatment,” said a commuter.
Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer (CPRO), WR, said they were in the process of repairing 17 other problematic escalators at railway stations. “One passenger was injured.
The malfunctioning may have been caused by some breakage or slippage of a part or due to the mechanical failure of the motor's coupling system, which triggered other protection mechanisms, causing it to stop immediately on reversal of motion. There are 17 such escalators with similar issues which are also being attended to and motors being replaced for preventive action,” he said.
Commuters took to social media to share the news. “Faulty escalator at Andheri station. On platform no. 3, suddenly the escalator started in reverse and many people faced injuries. We are also victims of this accident, take strict action against maintenance department. @PMOIndia @PiyushGoyalOffc @RailwaySeva @drmbct @DVPravasi,” one of them tweeted.
Passengers accused the administration of not maintaining the escalator, complaining that it did not work for at least 15 days of the month. Officials are currently investigating the matter. At Borivli railway station, the escalator has been unavailable for use for the past few days, bearing the sign, 'maintenance in progress'.