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Escalators inspected following two reports of girls’ shoes getting stuck

Target 12

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Target 12 Investigators have learned of a second incident involving an escalator at the Rhode Island Convention Center this past weekend, prompting a follow-up inspection by the state’s chief inspector.

According to cheerleading coach Sarah Woodworth, an 11-year-old girl on her team got her shoe stuck in one of the escalators.

“She goes, ‘Coach Sarah, my foot is stuck in the escalator. I can’t get it out!'” Woodworth recalled. “Quickly, I tried to untie her shoe.”

“We finally pulled her foot out and I was able to get the shoe out of the escalator right before we reached the bottom,” she added.

As Eyewitness News reported Monday, a similar incident happened to another cheerleader during the same competition at the convention center.

Wendy Smith said two teammates helped her daughter Carlee get her foot out of her shoe before it was destroyed.

“She could have lost a toe, she could have lost a foot,” Smith said.

By law, escalators in the state are required to be inspected annually. Records obtained by Target 12 show all 14 escalators in the convention center were inspected in January of this year. Only two code violations involving lighting were discovered.

In a statement emailed to Target 12, a spokesperson for the DLT said on Tuesday, the state’s chief inspector conducted a “follow-up inspection of the “step/skirt clearances” and found the clearances well within code.”

James Demers, the director of security for the convention center told Eyewitness News safety equipment on the building’s escalators is up to date, and said brushes were installed on every escalator two years ago to help prevent feet from getting stuck.

Woodworth wonders if it’s enough.

“She wasn’t fooling around,” Woodworth said. “I think it just caught her.”

Woodworth said the cheerleader on her team was not injured, but Carlee is still healing from bruising, according to her mom.

There are approximately 85 escalators in the state, according to the DLT.

Susan Campbell ( is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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