SEATTLE (CBS Seattle) — A man was strangled to death after his clothing got caught on an escalator.

Seattle police tell The Seattle Times that 42-year-old Maurecio Bell fell on his back while on a King County Metro escalator and when he reached the base of the escalator, the back of his shirt was pulled into it, strangling him.

“It’s an unfortunate and tragic accident, and we’ve never seen anything like it before,” King County Metro spokesman Jeff Switzer told the Times.

KVUE-TV reports that police found a half-empty bottle of brandy on the victim and that surveillance video showed Bell leaning and staggering on the elevator before he fell.

A Good Samaritan tried to help Bell by pressing the escalator’s manual stop button and performing CPR before medics arrived.

The King County Metro escalator reportedly had several safety-code violations that weren’t fixed leading up to Bell’s death.

“When you’re going up or down on the escalator it should be safe,” bus rider Dionysius Newyork told KIRO-TV. “If your own clothing gets caught in there, they should really take more precautions than that.”

The escalator will remain closed until repairs to it are made.


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