Teen’s Hand Gets Trapped in Escalator Handrail at Mall

A teenager is recovering in California after her hand became trapped in the railing of an escalator at a local mall, per multiple reports.

It took over an hour to rescue the 13-year-old girl after her hand got stuck in the mechanism at the MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, according to the East Bay Times.

Crews freed the teen by taking apart the escalator with a Dremel tool, according to KTLA and KTTV.

“I don’t know how this happened,” Orange County Fire Authority Battalion Chief Michael Morganstern said, per the Times.

Representatives for Orange County Fire Authority and MainPlace Mall did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

The victim, who has not been identified, was in stable condition when crews arrived at the scene, allowing them to work on freeing her hand, KTLA reported.

Morganstern said crews used the Dremel tool “to dissect the mechanism without injuring the victim any further” by cutting around the plastic and removing the bolts, according to the outlet.

“Sometimes we use the biggest tools we could absolutely have,” said the chief, per the Times. “Sometimes we use the smallest tool in our bag of tricks. … The biggest tool any firefighter can have is their brain.”

Eight firefighters were on scene to rescue the teen, per the Times. Morganstern said the girl received medication for her pain before crews used the Dremel to finish the job.

The victim was then transported to a local hospital for treatment, per the reports. Her condition and injuries remain unclear.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission show approximately 17,000 people are seriously injured in incidents involving elevators and escalators each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 30 people die each year from elevator and escalator incidents, per the agency.

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