Three injured in accident at Banqiao Station

Three women were injured at Banqiao train station in New Taipei late Saturday when an idle escalator crowded with people suddenly started moving, causing people on the way down to trip and slam into people in front of them.

The injured included a 63-year-old Taiwanese and a 27-year-old Vietnamese who both suffered lacerations on their scalps. The other person hurt was a 35-year-old woman who sprained her ankle, the New Taipei Fire Department said.

The three were rushed to two nearby hospitals to be treated.

According to the Fire Department's initial findings, the station, which also connects to high-speed rail and Taipei Metro lines, was crowded at the time of the accident with people who had just attended an outdoor Christmas concert outside New Taipei City Hall.

The escalator serving the station's second platform had stopped moving, but it was still packed with people walking up and down it, the department said.

The escalator then started moving without warning, causing mayhem as people walking down stumbled and rammed into each other, leading to several falls, the department said.

Though the station's management suspects that the excessive load of people on the escalator activated the moving stairs, the department said the Taiwan Railways Administration will investigate the accident further to clearly identify its cause.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel