Two adults and two children from two families suffered minor injuries after the ground floor escalator collapsed at the Bellevue Square Macy's, Bellevue Square and Bellevue Fire Department officials said Thursday.
The up-wards escalator, which connects the ground floor outdoor Bellevue Way entrance of Macy's to the main floor of the store, failed around 7:21 p.m. Thursday night and showed obvious damage at its top. The four injured were taken to a local hospital to be checked out for their minor injuries, said Bellevue Fire Department spokesman Lt. Troy Donlin.
Donlin said it was not immediately known what caused the escalator to break down and how many people were on it.
Bellevue Collection general manager and Kemper Development Senior Vice President Robert Dallain said that the escalator was one of the original ones in the Bellevue Square Macy's, which would have been built in 1982.
"These escalators are monitored daily, weekly, monthly. They're inspected, we have a maintenance program. We do due diligence," Dallain said. "It's a freak accident."
Dallain said that an inspector is now scheduled to look at the escalator to determine what happened, and to inspect the other escalators in the mall, including the damaged escalator's downward mate.
Obviously, the holiday period is a busy and festive time for the mall and its shoppers. The accident happened around the end of the nightly Snowflake Lane show, a short parade of holiday characters on Bellevue Way.
"It's terrible time. Anytime is bad. Tonight is a joyful night. We had Snowflake Lane. I'm sure they were here for that with their kids," Dallain said. "Our prayers go to them, and I'm sure we'll be in touch with them."