Woman in wheelchair falls down an escalator

5:52 PM, Jul 18, 2012   |    comments
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BOSTON, Mass. (NBC) - New cameras aimed at keeping Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority riders safe captured a woman in a wheelchair being rescued by MBTA workers after she fell down an escalator.

There are 15 projects going on to install thousands of cameras in hot spots at stations.

The woman tried to get onto an escalator in her motorized chair, but as it started to climb, she tumbled out.

Then the entire wheelchair, which weighs about 250 pounds, flipped over on top of her.

A man tried to help her only to accidentally toss her out of her chair.

Officials made it to the escalator and were able to finally stop it and help the woman.

It happened on a Friday morning when, had it been a quieter time of day where not as many travelers were around, it might have taken longer for the woman to get help.

That's why MBTA officials say the agency's plans to increase security cameras are a good thing.

"Fire, smoke emergencies which unfortunately we have from time to time, to get places like a control center better situational awareness to respond, help move service, and respond to customer needs," said Randy Clarke, Director of Security.

Over the next two to three years, the MBTA will be adding thousands of cameras to the system as well as upgrading the cameras already in use.

The money is from the Department of Homeland Security to focus on anti-terrorism, but the images also provide a secondary benefit for transit police.

"We believe that we can also use them not only to solve, but prevent crimes with the number of cameras that we will have added to our system," said Supt. Joseph O'Connor.

While some passengers feel like it's more "Big Brother" watching our every move, others think if it means getting quicker help to those in need like the woman on an escalator, then they're all for it.

Some were also concerned the woman in the wheelchair chose to use the escalator despite a nearby elevator that is available at the station.

"Safe, make everybody safe," said one man.

"I do think extra security is a great idea," said one woman.

The woman who was rescued was not seriously hurt.

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