Scenes From the Robot Apocalypse: Panic Ensues When PATH Train Escalator Switches Directions

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The late Mitch Hedberg used to joke, "I like an escalator because an escalator can never break — it can only become stairs," an amusing observation that was nevertheless proven false inside the Exchange Place PATH station this morning, where, without warning, a crowded up escalator suddenly became an unusually fast down escalator. Panic ensued: A logjam formed at the bottom when passengers couldn't disembark quickly enough, some people jumped to safety on those platforms between the escalators that are usually reserved as slides for action-movie chase scenes, and others valiantly tried to strive on to the top anyway, against the current, only to discover that they were in worse shape than they realized.

Four people were taken to the hospital, but their injuries are not considered serious. Meanwhile, the rest of us were reminded, once again, that mankind's truce with the machines is tenuous at best.