Questions asked after boy loses toes in Prague metro escalator accident

Photo: Kristýna Maková

A child had to have three of his toes amputated on Friday after his foot was caught in an escalator at Prague’s Můstek metro station. The accident prompted questions about the state of the escalators in the capital’s underground rail network, with the boy’s family threatening to sue the transport provider. But Prague Public Transport Company says it is not to blame.

Photo: Kristýna Maková
Eight firefighters were required to cut the seven-year-old free from the escalator at Prague’s Můstek metro station on Friday night. The child’s father, Denis Gajdoš, claims a bit of the escalator’s skirting was missing, creating a hole in which his son’s foot became lodged. Mr Gajdoš has said that he is considering taking legal action against the Prague Public Transport Company. For its part, the transport operator insists that there was no such fault with the stairway. Prague Public Transport Company’s spokesperson Ondřej Pečený:

“From the technical reports that we have following the accident on Friday night, it seems that all of our escalators are working properly, including, of course, the one that was part of the accident. But we are not finished yet with all of the reports, and we are still awaiting some proper information. Also, we are trying to involve all of the offices who are connected in some way with the working process of our escalators.”

Over the weekend, Prague Public Transport Company voiced its sympathy with the boy, who remained in hospital and who is now set to undergo months of rehabilitation. But the metro’s operator insisted that it was not to blame for the accident, and refused to speed up its work improving the underground escalator system. In light of the incident, Ondřej Pečený says that passengers need not travel with more care than usual, just the normal caution:

“I suggest to all passengers to travel properly on the escalators, as long as people stand in the direction they are heading and hold the handrail, they can hardly get injured or become part of any accident.”

This is not the first such incident. In July, a 10-year-old child was injured when his foot was trapped in a Prague metro escalator. He sustained only mild injuries and was released from hospital the same day.