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Disaster Festival – Broken Bones at Wonder Festival

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Ten people have been injured in an escalator accident at Wonder Festival, at least one apparently severely injured with a broken leg; the escalator is said to have been overloaded, although staff were present.

Some 50 people on the errant machine were knocked down, and looking at the heights they could have fallen from, it is fortuitous that no fatalities ensued.

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The malfunctioning escalator, going from the first to fourth floor, is on the right; you may be able to discern what happened from these confusing videos.

Apparently, a hundred people were guided on by staff, and at this point the malfunction occurred with a loud noise, knocking over those riding it, and sending them into panicked flight. It isn’t clear how injuries were sustained; it seems possible the stampede off accounted for injuries as well as the actual fall inducing failure.

Mercifully, nobody actually fell off the escalator.

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After the incident the escalator was of course firmly off limits whilst staff, escalator engineers, police, paramedics and even firemen swarmed the area. The renegade escalator is under the most thorough of inspection to discern the cause of the accident, though results are not yet forthcoming.

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You can see plenty of other photos and videos of the incident at source: Gigazine.

The event did at least continue as planned, so a report digest will be forthcoming.

Let us hope those unfortunates injured in their trip make a swift recovery.

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9 Comments

  • lord chair says:

    In San Antonio, Texas, the youth have a rip-roarin’ time hitting the Emergency Stop button on the escalators when they are completely full. I had heard they did that, and then I was on one when it happened… a lady holding a baby in her arms almost dropped the poor thing right over the side. People fell down all over each other. A man and a woman helped the lady with her baby, sort of grabbing onto her from below as she fell forward. I was above them by a few feet, right in the middle of the span, and by sheer luck I was holding my hands on the rubber rail on either side. When the thing jerked to a very immediate stop, I instinctively clamped down with my hands and watched in horror as the baby below me got juggled around… and then I realized that several hundred pounds of people were pushing against me from above. I just sort of held my grip for a few more moments and the weight let off, and when I could finally turn around and look I saw people just flopped on top of the ones in front of them. Like dominoes.

    Meanwhile, the teenagers who did it just ran about twenty feet away from the escalator and laughed. Then they walked out an exit and disappeared. I went to the security desk straightaway and complained. Their answer: “Yeah, that happens all the time. It’s awfully hard to stop them.”

    • Mortifying indeed. Been using escalators over here in Germany for my entire life, and not ever once have I seen the emergency stop buttons being abused.

      The only escalator outage I’ve ever witnessed was during an unexpected blackout. Didn’t fall because I always keep a hand on the rubber-rail as well. They’re there for a reason.

      Given the huge potential for personal injury in cases like this, I wonder why they aren’t getting punished very harshly. People actually domino-tumbling down an escalator could probably end up worse than the average bus accident. I’d probably punch the hell out of someone if I witnessed someone pulling a prank like this and I was within reach.

    • That sort of thing happens at the mall near where I live too. Kids will do that all the time, so often in fact that it’s rare to ever really see the escalators by the food court working. I’ve never actually been on one when it’s stopped, though, but I’m always holding the rubber handrails just in case. They never do anything about it here either.

  • oh my, i can’t make out the incident from those videos but from the look of things, the progression was well-organised and orderly with staff at hand restricting the number of ppl on the escalator at any one point.

    i agree with tony, but what were ya expecting, it’s natural to be overwhelmed by the spectacle

  • Probably caused by the habit of stopping at the end of the escalator to look around, oblivious to the hundreds of people behind them… good ol’ Japanese complete lack of spatial awareness!