WASHINGTON -- Metro said two people had to be taken to a hospital for treatment of scrapes and bruises after an escalator at the Gallery Place Station malfunctioned during Wednesday's morning rush hour.
The escalator had stopped operating earlier. Then, with people using it as a staircase, it suddenly went into reverse, throwing about a dozen people backward.
Metro officials are investigating whether a brake failure caused the escalator to start moving in the opposite direction.
In an e-mail to NBCWashington.com, Kevin Luces gave his version of what happened on the escalator:
"The escalator was stationary, people were walking up, then it suddenly started freewheeling backwards, it was going way too fast to just be running normally in reverse. ... People began screaming, as folks started piling up at the bottom. My wife was injured as she and others plummeted down for approximately 8 seconds. Stander-bys tried to hit the emergency brake -- it did not work."