Nottingham man tells how escalator tore off his big toe

Michael Reddington
Image caption Michael Reddington said he can laugh about the accident now

A man has had to learn to walk again after an escalator ripped off his big toe in a Nottingham shopping centre.

Michael Reddington, 24, thought his left foot was going to "snap off" when it became stuck in the escalator at the West End Arcade.

He and a man from a nearby shop used a screwdriver and Allen key to release the panels trapping his foot.

Firefighters arrived and lifted Mr Reddington out after he was trapped for 25 minutes.

Mr Reddington, who lives in the St Ann's area of Nottingham, said: "Straight away it was agonising pain.

"It felt like the front end of my foot was going to snap off. The pressure was unbearable and the pain was ridiculous."

Mr Reddington said his foot became trapped in a gap where the steps of the escalator met the platform at the top.

"My foot started to be crushed and my toe eventually ripped off," he said.

"I started shouting for someone to press the stop button but there was no-one around."

'Bone sticking out'

Mr Reddington said it felt like seven or eight minutes before the escalator was stopped.

He said he was grateful to the man from the barber shop who helped free him.

When he looked down and saw his foot he thought his injuries would be "life-changing".

Image copyright (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Image caption Firefighters recovered the toe from the escalator

"My toe was gone, there was blood everywhere, there was bone sticking out, there was flesh all over," he said.

The two toes next to it were also "split in two".

"There was blood all over the escalators. People were running off crying and some people nearly fainted," he said.

"It was like something out of a horror film. I had never seen anything like it, not on anyone else either, so to have it happen to me it was just bizarre."

Firefighters found his big toe but Mr Reddington decided not to have it attached.

"They told me [in hospital] I could keep my toe but it could die on my foot and cause gangrene and I could lose my leg, so I told them to throw it."

'Never moonwalk again'

The accident happened on 15 March and doctors told Mr Reddington he would not be able to walk for six months.

However, he was able to walk on crutches within a month and can now jog slowly.

"I'm shocked, the doctors are shocked. I think it's a testament to how the human body can heal itself," he said.

He is hoping to return to work, as a sound engineer at Stealth nightclub, within the next few weeks.

"I will never moonwalk again but I will get over that," he said.

"I can laugh about it now because it's such a bizarre thing that happened.

"I'm quite proud of myself that I've hit back this fast."

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