Rush hour at Sunae station in Budang-gu, South Korea took a horrifying turn when an escalator unexpectedly reversed its direction, causing commuters to be thrown to the ground.
The Korea Herald reported that at least 14 people were injured, with three of them sustaining serious injuries.
Security footage captured the alarming moment when the bustling escalator at the crowded subway station in Gyeonggi Province suddenly went rogue.
Instead of ascending, the escalator started descending, resulting in terrified passengers tumbling downstairs and forming a pile at the bottom.
The video also shows one individual falling onto the neighbouring escalator.
At 8:20 a.m. local time, the South Korean Fire Service was informed of the incident after receiving emergency calls.
Authorities from the police and fire departments said that while eleven other people received medical attention for minor wounds, three people were transported to the hospital with severe back and leg injuries.
Images taken there show first responders providing basic medical care to the casualties, including a woman who was found flat on the ground next to Exit No. 2 of the station.
The broken escalator was then secured and blocked off after the malfunction. The fire service has stated that it will investigate the incident to find out what went wrong.
According to a news outlet called Korea JoongAng Daily, a 68-year-old resident said: “I thought people were filming a disaster movie after seeing so many people crowded around the fenced exit.”
In May, a maintenance company performed a routine monthly inspection on the escalator and found no problems.
Additionally, the Korea Elevator Safety Agency conducts its own annual inspections on escalators.
To investigate the accident, the Railroad Special Judicial Police Unit, which operates under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, will take charge of the investigation.
Gyeonggi Governor Kim Dong-yeon wrote on Twitter: “Authorities, including the fire services, are currently looking into the cause of the accident,
“We will investigate thoroughly so that no similar accidents occur.”
The responsibility for investigating the accident falls upon the Railroad Special Judicial Police Unit, which operates under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
They have committed to examining whether any defects were present and if adequate inspections were conducted.