Man strangled by Seattle escalator

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY,  |  April 12, 2013 at 4:53 PM
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Seattle authorities are investigating the strangling death of a man who died Sunday when his clothing was caught in an escalator.

Maurecio Bell, 42, was found unconscious and unresponsive at the bottom of the King County Metro escalator at the University Street Station around 5:30 Sunday morning, Seattle Police said. He apparently fell and his clothing was caught in the escalator's mechanism.

Police told the Seattle Times video showed Bell, who had an opened bottle of brandy in his pocket, staggering and leaning against the escalator wall. He then fell onto his back when about three-quarters of the way down the escalator.

Bell made no apparent attempt to get back up, and when he reached the bottom of the escalator, his shirt was pulled into it.

A passerby hit the manual stop button and called 911, unsuccessfully performing CPR on him until fire department officials arrived.

Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said medics were unable to revive him.

The escalator in question had several safety violations, with a December 5 inspection report indicating seven corrections and maintenance practices that were supposed to be fixed by March 27. None of the fixes had been completed, Labor and Industries spokesman Dave Wasser said.

Among the uncompleted fixes were broken combteeth and a stop-switch buzzer, and department officials said the safety-stop system failed to shut down automatically.

Seven people were injured on an escalator at a Bellevue station in December when a loose panel snagged the stairway and broke the chains.

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