POLITICS

Coroner says woman who died in Montreal subway had scarf caught in escalator

10/30/2014 02:49 EDT | Updated 12/30/2014 05:59 EST
MONTREAL - A woman who was strangled by her own clothing on a Montreal subway escalator died after her scarf became caught in the mechanism, a coroner has said.

Naima Rharouity's death by asphyxiation last January has been declared an accident by coroner Paul Dionne.

Rharouity, a 47-year-old mother of two, was travelling down the escalator toward the subway platform when her scarf became trapped.

Dionne says it's impossible to know if the article of clothing became caught, causing her to fall, or if she simply fell first.

There were no witnesses, a final report released Thursday noted.

Dionne says her scarf, coat and hair were trapped in the escalator and that she was strangled by her scarf and hair.

He noted that Rharouity was 160 centimetres tall and her scarf was 157 centimetres long.

The coroner recommended that Montreal's transit commission revise its escalator maintenance program and launch an awareness campaign.

Dionne said the organization that enforces the province's building code looked at a sample of 20 escalators located in some of the city's 68 subway stations and noted there were at least 24 spills resulting from falls or clothes getting caught since 2012.

That includes four at the Fabre station where the tragedy occurred.