Disturbing new video released by the MBTA shows people tumbling backwards, and piling up on top of one another, after an escalator malfunction at the Back Bay Station in September.
Many of the people were headed back to Boston from Foxboro, Massachusetts, after a Patriots game that Sunday, Sept. 26, when the escalator suddenly reversed at a high rate of speed.
Nine people were taken to the hospital.
“The fact that it just immediately goes in reverse and you’re falling on top of somebody and somebody is falling on top to you, it’s scary,” said commuter Caroline Price.
Two families injured in the incident are now suing the MBTA and KONE, the company hired to maintain the escalators.
A statement was released Monday on behalf of the Bethany and Parson families, both of whom are being represented by Attorney Robert W. Norton, of Giarrusso, Norton, Cooley & McGlone, P.C.
"The families are aware of the release of the video and obviously viewing it causes them to relive the incident. They continue to recover and still face a long road following this incident," the statement read. "They respectfully request continued privacy at this time, with enormous gratitude to their friends, family and well-wishers as they try to heal and return to their normal lives."
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In the statement, the families reiterated their thanks to the City of Boston for their hospitality during their weekend stay.
"They enjoyed their time here but for this incident," the statement continued. "They also want to again thank the first responders, the firemen, EMS and police followed by the many teams of Emergency Room trauma doctors and nurses who assisted them."
Months after the incident, the escalator remains out of service. An MBTA spokesperson says the cause of this malfunction remains under investigation.
“It’s pretty busy I mean it gets a lot of use. It’s on track 1 and 3 and it gets lots of usage especially game days or when they have the marathon of functions,” said commuter Darlene Monkman.
The MBTA said in a statement Monday that the escalator passed a state inspection in July and received monthly maintenance in September.
The agency added that all of its escalators receive exhaustive monthly inspections and maintenance "with public safety of utmost importance."
KONE released a statement Monday saying safety is one of their top priorities, and their “thoughts go out to those who were injured.” They also said they routinely inspect and maintain the MBTA’s escalators "in compliance with regulatory requirements and the unique contractual terms and specifications of its agreement with the MBTA."
"KONE does not believe that any speculation serves the public interest, however, can confirm that the Back Bay escalator unit, which was not manufactured by KONE, passed a state inspection that was performed on July 30th. This inspection included a brake torque test," KONE said in the statement. "KONE continues to work with the Department of Public Safety and the MBTA to perform stringent evaluation of units within the MBTA system. As a matter of policy, KONE cannot provide specific details regarding the ongoing investigation due to pending litigation.”
KONE’s current contract requires exhaustive monthly maintenance on each of the MBTA’s 177 escalators, meant to identify missing or broken parts and repair or replace them immediately, the MBTA said.