LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – An escalator at the KFC Yum! Center malfunctioned as basketball fans were leaving the arena Thursday night, resulting in at least several injuries, a building spokeswoman confirmed Friday.
The incident occurred after the University of Louisville women’s basketball team beat the University of Connecticut before an announced crowd of 17,023, the largest to watch a women’s college basketball game in the nation this season.
Twitter users reported that an escalator that connects the main arena floor with the top level began moving quickly, and a video posted online shows people bunched together at the exit. It is one of two such lifts in the arena lobby.
Several fans were hurt, but arena officials aren't aware of any serious injuries, Yum! Center spokeswoman Sandra Moran said in an email Friday morning.
The cause of the incident is under investigation, and plans call for Kentucky's escalator inspector to conduct an inspection and arena consultants to service the escalator, she said.
"We regret this incident occurred and are doing all we can to ensure the escalator is working properly and safe for our guests before it is used at an upcoming event," she said.
It's unclear if the escalator will be back in service for Saturday's 2 p.m. men's basketball game between U of L and the University of North Carolina, she said.
Escalator malfunction at the Yum! Center. pic.twitter.com/H4zAAhkmTs— Autry DeBluford (@AuDeBlu) February 1, 2019
As the escalator sped up Thursday night, one man said he jumped off and pressed an emergency button, shutting down the escalator. A woman who said she was on the escalator posted on Twitter that she suffered a sprained knee.
Mark Ennis, a radio host for 93.9 The Ville, wrote on Twitter at 9:01 p.m. that an escalator had “failed and dumped a bunch of people going dangerously fast.”
Another radio host for the station, Mark Blankenbaker, tweeted at 9:05 p.m. that the escalator was “moving too fast and smoking.”
Scary situation tonight the upper level down escalator malfunctioned at the Yum! Center tonight and had to be shut down. Was moving too fast and smoking, no sure if anyone was hurt.— Mark Blankenbaker (@UofLSheriff50) February 1, 2019
Moran said arena officials aren't aware of similar malfunctions involving the escalator.