Rescuers work feverishly to rescue boy’s hand trapped in mall escalator

April 17

Update, 11:45 p.m.:

The boy whose hand and fingers were caught in an escalator Thursday night at a Prince George’s County mall has been extricated from the moving staircase.

Mark Brady, a Prince George’s County fire department spokesman, said the six-year-old boy was taken to a hospital when he was finally freed after a more than two-hour effort to extricate him from the moving staircase.

The incident began about 8:40 p.m., when the boy’s hand and fingers were caught in an esclator in the Burlington Coat Factory store at the Iverson Mall on Branch Avenue in Temple Hills.


U/D Image from the scene. Rescuers work to free the hand of young child caught in the handrail track at bottom of an escalator. (Mark Brady/@PGFDPIO)

The boy’s hand somehow became enangled under the handrail at the bottom of a down escalator. Rescuers worked to cut the escalator apart, Brady said, calling the effort “a challenging and tedious extrication.”

Medics faced a stressful and complex rescue with a young boy in a panicked state, Brady said.

“The child, for good reason, was in high distress,” Brady said in an interview. With the permission of the boy’s mother, medics administered pain meds to calm the boy down. Rescuers had to remove parts of a wall to gain access to all parts of the escalator to free the child’s hand.

“The extrication proved to be a challenge as we basically had to dismantle the escalator using hand tools in a relatively confined space,” Brady said.

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Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.
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