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9 injured after Back Bay escalator malfunction

A Back Bay station sign. Nine people were hospitalized Sunday evening after the escalator leading to the commuter rail at Back Bay station malfunctioned. COURTESY OF BILL DARAS VIA FLICKR

Nine people were injured after a Back Bay train station escalator malfunctioned Sunday evening, according to Boston Emergency Services.

Multiple emergency agencies responded to the scene shortly after 6:00 p.m. Sunday, where patients with minor injuries were transported to nearby hospitals. Due to health privacy laws, Boston EMS was unable to provide further updates on the status of those injured.

The incident is currently under investigation, according to an email statement from the MBTA. Investigators are gathering information about the equipment’s inspection and maintenance history as part of the ongoing probe.

“With the public’s safety of paramount importance, the MBTA is committed to determining the underlying cause and working to ensure such an incident doesn’t happen again,” the statement read.

The escalator — which brings passengers from Amtrak/Commuter rail platforms to a street-level lobby — is regularly maintained and inspected by KONE, a company contracted by the MBTA to monitor all the transit system’s 177 escalators.

“The MBTA and KONE will be guided by the findings of the investigation, and take whatever actions are warranted,” the statement read. “Last week, the MBTA’s escalators had an overall availability rate of 98.67% (this data point speaks to the effectiveness of the escalator maintenance program).”

Sunday’s malfunction comes just two weeks after David Jones, associate professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, died after the stairs of a rusty, restricted stairway at the JFK/UMass T-station caved. 

The MBTA said in their statement to The Daily Free Press the Back Bay escalator unit will remain out of service throughout the investigation. 

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