Five people have been injured after an escalator at a New Jersey station malfunctioned and went backwards, causing some people to leap off the moving machinery.
The incident occurred at the Exchange Place PATH station, The Associated Press reported.
Nick Lukish recalled how he was halfway up the escalator on Monday morning when it suddenly started moving backwards.
The 33-year-old said: "There was a stampede at the base of the escalator. People started to panic and yell and scream, and I saw some people jump over to the down side of the escalator, so I jumped."
"Well this morning I’m about 2/3rs of the way up the escalator (and anyone familiar with it knows it is a LONG escalator) - when suddenly the escalator stops and starts moving in reverse. And then it starts picking up speed, until its moving backwards at an incredibly high rate of speed. Faster than I ever thought an escalator could move. Suddenly there are about 20 to 30 people piled up at the bottom of the escalator because people couldn’t get out of the way fast enough. Seeing the pile I was about to be heaped on top of, I made the sudden decision to jump off the escalator on to the adjacent escalator."
Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico confirmed there had been five injuries mainly consisting of "bumps, bruises and scrapes", adding: "Fortunately, none life-threatening."
The cause of the accident is unclear, although there has been some speculation previous damage from Hurricane Sandy may have played a part.
Two of the station's three escalators have been shut down.