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Toddler Gives Courthouse Escalator a Finger--But Gets it Back!

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Photo by delara-photos via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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A toddler lost his finger yesterday in a harrowing escalator accident at the Van Nuys Courthouse. The Los Angeles Fire Department break down the grisly incident, in which a 17-month-old boy had his left index finger lopped off "in the comb-and-groove of the foot tread at or near the lowest ('arrival') level of the machinery."Bystanders flipped the emergency stop switch, but the finger had already been swallowed up by the turning mechanism. The toddler was tended to--his hand bandaged to prevent blood loss--then sent to the the Richie Pediatric Trauma Center at Northridge Hospital.

Meanwhile, the search was on for the lost digit, as LAFD personnel worked with Sheriff's Deputies to embark on "the strategic disassembly of the massive machinery in a quest to save the boy's finger." They took apart the escalator piece by piece...and found the finger, still intact, and rushed it to the hospital where a team of surgeons were standing by.

It's not a guarantee that the re-attachment will be a success, but as the LAFD concludes: "the teamwork of Los Angeles Firefighters, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies, a County of Los Angeles Escalator Maintenance Supervisor - and especially the team at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, gave the young boy the greatest odds possible following a devastating injury."