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Escalator mishap injures 21 in Boston

BOSTON, Feb. 21 -- An escalator that had just passed a safety inspection broke down at a railroad station during the morning rush hour in Boston Wednesday, sending commuters toppling over each other, officials said. A total of 21 people were injured.

All were taken to area hospitals, but none of the injuries was regarded as serious, officials said. A spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said the escaltor at the busy Back Bay station had been inspected just one day before the accident, which occurred shortly before 8 a.m. Investigators want to question the private firm which conducted the safety check for the transit agency, she said. Witnesses said the escalator suddenly halted and then jumped into reverse, causing riders to fall and topple onto each other. A broken belt and a faulty emergency brake were believed to be responsible for the mishap, but the investigation was continuing, the MBTA said.

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