At least five people were injured at the L'Enfant Plaza metro station during the Tuesday morning rush hour due to a malfunction on an escalator, officials say.
D.C. Fire officials say three people were taken to area hospitals for treatment after the accident, which happened just after 8:30 a.m. The other two injured people were treated at the station.
The metal side panel was about 12 feet long.
Metro officials spent the day investigating what happened, but for now, Metro spokesperson Cathy Asato says they believe a woman's bag or piece of clothing caught the side panel of the escalator, detaching it.
The long piece of side panel could be seen at the bottom of the structure as officials took pictures of the scene.
"That's a big piece of slab. That's dangerous for kids and otherwise. I hope when they fix it, it won't happen again," Metro rider Gregory Easton said.
But some Metro riders aren't buying a customer's bag could've caused the damage. Crystal Jones-Johnson thinks the metal strip must have already been exposed for it to make contact with the bag.
Jones-Johnson added, "It shouldn't be accessible like that. It shouldn't be easy to do that."
Metro has shut down the escalator while they conduct a through inspection.