A Canadian mother is warning others about the dangers of escalators after her 2-year-old son’s foot got caught in one at the airport.
Andrea Diaczok, her husband and their young son Julian were at the Vancouver International Airport on their way back home to Calgary. They were halfway down the escalator when Julian’s little shoe became stuck between the side railing and the stairs.
“His whole boot basically disappeared,” Diaczok told the Calgary Herald. “The teeth bit onto his toe midway … I started screaming for help.”
Diaczok said that since they were in the middle of the escalator, neither she nor her husband could push the emergency stop. By the time the escalator stopped moving, they were only a few steps from the bottom.
The mom said she was prepared for the worst. “I didn’t even know if his foot was there … I didn’t know if there’s only a stump there at this point,” she told the Herald.
“It twisted his leg around and broke his leg and then the entire foot of the boot disappeared in the side of the escalator,” she said.
A photo of Julian’s shoe shows the mangled remains of the child’s rubber boot completely shredded by the metal teeth of the stairs.
Julian’s boot was so wedged in there, it took help from airport employees and bystanders to cut him free, according to the Herald.
Diaczok explained that she’s been teaching her son escalator safety when he gets on and off, but she never expected the potential danger of the middle.
“He hops at the top, he hops at the bottom. We make a game of it, ‘don’t touch this part, always step over.’ But I’ve never heard of (getting stuck) in the sides,” she said.
While Julian suffered a broken leg and some bruises, Diaczok noted her son was lucky to be wearing boots, which helped protect his foot. She said she can’t imagine what would happen if someone were wearing sandals.
A spokeswoman with the Vancouver Airport Authority told the Herald an investigation into the incident is underway and that safety is a top priority.