Video released of convention center escalator mishap

‘Overcrowding’ blamed for malfunction

Author: Katrina Webber, Reporter, kwebber@ksat.com
Published On: Aug 16 2013 06:10:37 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 16 2013 06:22:26 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

Video of a May 15 escalator malfunction that injured 20 people at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in May has been released by the City of San Antonio.

The images come from a surveillance camera inside the facility.

The video shows a large crowd of people on the ground floor of Exhibit Hall D, filing onto two of the three escalators that were heading up to the second floor.

Suddenly the middle escalator appears to shift direction, sending people tumbling backward to the first floor.

As that’s happening, one man appears to jump off that malfunctioning escalator and land on the third one, which was traveling down.

He then helps another person climb to safety as people around them are losing their footing.

The incident sent 20 people to a hospital for treatment of various injuries.

Several others reported receiving minor injuries.

In the wake of the mishap, the convention center placed the escalators out of order until an inspection could be conducted.

The same set of escalators had malfunctioned in August 2012.

In response to the release of the surveillance video Friday, Andrea DeLaune, Marketing Manager for the convention center, issued a written statement.

It stated that, “the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation’s report (TDLR) cited overcrowding of the escalator as a causing factor in the incident.”

The statement also said, “Since the incident, each escalator at the center has received a full re-inspection (including brake assembly tests), and has been recertified by TDLR."

DeLaune also said new signage has been added on the handrails of each escalator as part of the revised internal safety procedures.

Still, some of the people who were injured during the May malfunction apparently blame the city and have filed lawsuits.

Raw Video: Convention center escalator accident

For a list of recent stories Katrina Webber has done, click here.