PATH Escalator Accident Result of Sandy Damage: Officials

By Ida Siegal
|  Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013  |  Updated 11:35 AM EDT
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A PATH train rider captured this video of an escalator full of rush hour commuters suddenly changing directions at the Exchange Place PATH station in Jersey City, N.J., on Monday. Six people were injured, officials said.

Alex Rodriguez

A PATH train rider captured this video of an escalator full of rush hour commuters suddenly changing directions at the Exchange Place PATH station in Jersey City, N.J., on Monday. Six people were injured, officials said.

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Rider Describes PATH Escalator Accident

Passengers were traveling up from the station's platforms on the escalator when it suddenly began heading down just before 9 a.m. News 4's Brian Thompson reports.

Dramatic Video of PATH Station Flood

Watch dramatic video of flooding inside the Exchange Place PATH station
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Port Authority officials say the escalator malfunction at the Exchange Place PATH station in Jersey City earlier this month was the result of Sandy. 

Six people were injured when the escalator full of rush hour commuters traveling up from the station's platforms suddenly changed direction and moved backwards Jan. 7, sending riders tumbling and causing panic on the moving stairwell. 

Officials now say massive saltwater flooding from Sandy caused the machinery to break down. The Exchange Place station was filled with more than 12 feet of saltwater during the storm.

To see video of the flooding at the station during the storm, go here.

The escalator was repaired and reopened the next day. All escalators and equipment at other PATH stations were also reinspected and appear safe, officials said.

"I'm a little surprised they didn't anticipate this, although people were clamoring to have the stations open and they get really annoyed when they're not, so it's tough for everyone," said PATH train rider Michelle Watson. 

Many Manhattan subway stations were also filled with saltwater during the storm, prompting new questions about whether they also could have corroded escalators. The MTA said all stations and equipment were inspected.

Some stations, including the South Ferry station, suffered particularly extensive damage. Authorities recently said repairs at that station may take up to three years to complete.

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