Fabre metro user: ‘I was being strangled’

MONTREAL – On Dec. 11, Joyce Ostroff went home from an appointment around noon near the Fabre metro station.

On her way down the escalator she suddenly had the sensation she was being assaulted from behind – her coat was tightening around her neck.

The bottom of Joyce Ostroff’s coat after it was caught in the escalator at Fabre metro station in Montreal. Global News

Toward the bottom of the stairwell she fell “down on the ground with no way to pull myself up, thinking that if my coat got pulled in any further I was absolutely going to die,” she said.

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“I was being strangled.”

READ MORE: Victim in Montreal scarf escalator death identified by coroner

Ostroff said that she didn’t report the incident to the STM, the agency that operates the metro, because she didn’t think they would do anything about it.

But in the wake of Naima Rharouity’s harrowing death, Ostroff felt she needed to speak out in an effort to improve the safety of the automatic stairs.

“Perhaps something would have been done had I followed through,” she said.

Joyce Ostroff was almost strangled after her coat was caught in the Fabre metro escalator, an eerily similar incident to the one that killed a 47-year-old Montreal mother of two in January 2014. Global News

She added that the escalators are not safe, the safety features are difficult to notice, and by the time users get to the bottom of the escalator and into metro station, there are no officials anywhere in sight.

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“There was not one person anywhere, not on the escalator, not on the stairs,” she said.

READ MORE: Montreal scarf escalator death: Were safety regulations followed?

“There was no attendant.”

The STM refused to comment on any escalator issue, citing ongoing investigations into Rharouity’s death.

The emergency stop button at the bottom of the escalator in Montreal’s Fabre metro station. Global News

The Montreal police also declined to comment on the situation, pointing out that they wouldn’t have a role in Ostroff’s accident because she didn’t report anything to them and because her story doesn’t involve a crime.

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