Escalator Death At Transit Station Remains A Mystery

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Authorities are still working to determine how a San Francisco man died after he apparently suffered some sort of medical emergency and fell on an escalator at the Powell Street transit station last week.

About 1 p.m. Tuesday, emergency crews responded to a report that someone had fallen on an escalator at the station and passed out, San Francisco fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.

The medical examiner’s office has identified Michael Smith, 47, as the man who was found by firefighters at the bottom of the escalator with his coat sleeve and hair stuck in the escalator, Talmadge said.

The escalator was on the northwest end of the station near Hallidie Plaza, police said.

Station agents were able to turn off the escalator, and emergency responders extricated Smith and took him to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died less than an hour later, police said.

An autopsy was performed, but Smith’s cause of death has not been determined pending toxicology reports, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The escalator is maintained by the city.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)


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