As if the dreaded commute to work wasn't bad enough...

Passengers travelling through the Exchange Place PATH station in Jersey City on Monday morning got a shock when the escalator they were on suddenly accelerated - and started travelling backwards instead of up.

A certain level of panic can be seen on the video, which shows commuters trying to fight against the downward movement in an attempt not to end up in a heap at the bottom of the stairs.

One man can be seen jumping onto the hand rail, while other screams of "stop, stop, stop" can be heard in the background.

And one woman was even heard wailing in pain (or terror) in the footage caught by
commuter Alex Rodriguez on his mobile phone.

Five people were injured in the incident, but none were life threatening; three people were taken to hospital, while two were treated for cuts and bruises, according to the Daily Mail.

Mr Rodriguez talked to CNN about the incident, saying: "Everyone started looking around and then it starts to go down at an accelerated rate. At that point, people started piling up towards the bottom and couldn't get off the escalator fast enough."

The news site said PATH officials were investigating the possibility that Hurricane Sandy might have played a role in the incident, but did not explain why.

A statement said: "As a precaution, PATH has suspended escalator service at Exchange Place through (Tuesday) morning. In addition, workers are reviewing all PATH escalators throughout the system."

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