PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBS Local) — It was a close call for a 12-year-old girl who got sucked into the crevices of an escalator Sunday during a cheerleading competition in Rhode Island.
Wendy Smith said her daughter, Carlee, stepped on the down escalator at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence when the toe of her shoe got pulled to the side, trapping her foot between a step and the side of the escalator.
“She was freaking out,” Wendy told CBS affiliate WPRI. “Twelve years old, in a panic, ‘I can’t get my foot out, I can’t get my foot out!'”
As the escalator neared the bottom, two teammates untied Carlee’s shoe, allowing her to free her foot.
“She could have lost a toe, she could have lost a foot. She’s very tiny and petite,” she said.
Carlee, who lives in Manchester, Connecticut, was left with serious bruising and was walking on crutches on Monday, Wendy said. The shoe’s toe was shredded.
Smith said she is concerned the escalator didn’t automatically stop when her daughter got stuck. She also noted that an emergency stop button was located at the bottom of the escalator, between the up and down escalators.
James Demers, the director of security for the convention center, told WPRI the escalator was in working order but planned to contact the vendor to see if there’s anything more they can to do make it safer.
Wendy hopes her daughter’s story will serve as a reminder to be careful when riding escalators.
“I think it’s very important that some kind of safety measure is put in,” she said.