Escalator changes direction video: Today Show spotlights Jersey City escalator mishap

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- A crowd panicked at a commuter rail station Monday morning with an escalator switched directions and started to head down, causing some people to jump off mid-ride.

A spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the station, said five people were injured when the escalator malfunctioned around 9 a.m. at the Exchange Place PATH station in Jersey City.

None of the injuries were life-threatening according to Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico.  Injuries ranged from back and neck pain to scrapes, bumps and bruises.

Nick Lukish of Brooklyn, N.Y. was on his way to work and was midway up the escalator when it changed direction.

"There was a stampede at the base of the escalator," Lukish said. "People started to panic and yell and scream, and I saw some people jump over to the down side of the escalator, so I jumped."

The amateur video of the incident shows some people jumping onto the divider between the escalators while others shouted or tried to keep walking up.

Following the incident, two of the station's three escalators were shut down, forcing thousands of commuters to walk up the 128 stairs to the street.

The Exchange Place station suffered extensive damage during Superstorm Sandy. PATH officials were investigating what caused Monday's escalator malfunction, "including whether Superstorm Sandy-related effects played a role," Marsico said.

Escalator service at Exchange Place will be suspended through Tuesday morning, Marsico said, adding that workers were looking at all PATH escalators throughout the system.





Associated Press contributed to this report.

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