A woman was strangled Thursday after her scarf and then her hair got caught in the mechanism of a Montreal subway escalator as it rolled toward the platform.
A spokesman for the city’s ambulance service said he has never seen anything like it in his 30-year career.
“We see accidents in escalators, but I don’t recall a situation like this where somebody was physically trapped in the mechanism,” said Bob Lamle, a division chief for Urgences-sante.
The ambulance service has received several calls about people falling in the subway, he noted.
Police say the victim was a 48-year-old woman.
“By the time our people arrived, it had stopped and she was at the bottom of the escalator,” Lamle told reporters outside the Fabre subway station in the city’s north end.
“What they found was a woman . . . who was clearly trapped,” he said. “She was lying on her back.”
He said firefighters and paramedics immediately tried to revive her but were unsuccessful. A doctor declared her dead on the scene.
The accident happened at around 9:15 a.m., during the morning rush hour.
“There were people who saw this and tried to help,” Lamle said.
A Montreal police spokesman said the woman was travelling down the escalator toward the subway platform when her scarf got trapped.
“She was going down the escalator, her scarf remained stuck, and she tried to pull on the scarf to try to get it out and her hair also got stuck,” Jean-Pierre Brabant said.
There were media reports the woman was wearing a hijab, but Brabant denied that.
Brabant said investigators will review videos from cameras inside the subway station to find out more.
This is not the first tragic accident in the Montreal subway system in the past year.
In April 2013, a young woman died because she may have been distracted by her cellphone.
Video footage from the subway showed the 20-year-old wearing earphones and staring into her smartphone before she stepped into a gap between two cars.
She was dragged for two stops before commuters noticed blood on the tracks.
(Via The Spec)