Man Dies After Apparent Medical Emergency on Escalator at Powell Street Station

April 20, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO -- A man died after apparently suffering some sort of medical emergency and falling on an escalator at the Powell Street Station this afternoon, fire and police officials said.

About 1 p.m., 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.

Firefighters responded and found a man at the bottom of the escalator whose coat sleeve and hair had gotten stuck in the escalator, Talmadge said.

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

Station agents were able to turn off the escalator, and emergency crews extricated the man and took him to San Francisco General Hospital, Talmadge said.

The man, believed to be in his 50s, died at the hospital about 1:50 p.m., Andraychak said.

Officers stayed at the station to investigate the incident until finally clearing from the area by about 3:20 p.m., Andraychak said.

"Even if it's likely a medical situation, we have to treat it like a crime scene ... and make 100 percent sure it was or was not a crime," he said.