On Sunday, September 26, 2021 at Boston’s busy Back Bay Station, an escalator suddenly malfunctioned and caused a number of severe injuries to MBTA passengers. According to reports, the escalator was carrying passengers up from the train platform to street-level when the treads suddenly started moving in reverse. It appears that the escalator, which was carrying over 20 people, somehow lost power and began a downwards free fall due to the weight of the passengers. Boston EMS arrived on the scene and at least 9 people were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment of their injuries. Quick-thinking passengers who had just stepped off were able to press the emergency stop button very quickly, which likely prevented many more injuries.

The MBTA claimed that the escalator had not been involved in any similar incidents but released no other details about how this accident happened. The MBTA stated that the elevator would remain out of service while an investigation takes place. A maintenance company who services the MBTA’s escalators, Kone, confirmed the ongoing investigation but provided few other details about how the escalator malfunctioned.