I took a photo of this because I thought it was funny, but it ended up not funny at all. This is a tourist area in Vienna – how about making it more clear to people of other languages what this does?
It’s only been a day since I took the photo, I have stepped off an escalator and walked 5 meters when I hear a scream and a very sad, drawn-out wail of a mother. Crowd murmurs. Escalator doesn’t stop.
I ditch my suitcase and sprint back, but I’m blocked by people who’ve stepped in to LOOK but not nearly close enough to help. I’m body-checking my way through. Scream is still tearing the air. The escalator motor is still moving. I only hear one voice – that of the wail. FUCK, EVERYONE!! I’m getting nowhere. I am now yelling “EMERGRNCY STOP!! PULL THE RED HANDLE!! Somebody STOP THE ESCALATOR!!! SOMEON
E PULL THE RED HANDLE!!! IT’S THE RED HANDLE!!”
Just then, a man twice my size sprints past me, putting his hand on people’s shoulders and literally leaping over the crowd.
Not 2 seconds later, escalator motor stops. I hear two voices now – that of the mother and a man’s voice in a firm tone. Another 5 seconds later, crowd starts dispersing. I go back to my suitcase which is still there thank god.
I get on the bus. I see no one at the escalator but an empty baby car seat. My blood freezes. My heart aches.
I hear the ambulance siren.