THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Boy, 4, dies after fall from mall escalator

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By Stewart Bishop
Globe Correspondent / March 14, 2011

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A 4-year-old Dudley boy died over the weekend from injuries he suffered in a fall from an escalator in the Auburn Mall, authorities said.

Mark DiBona died shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday at the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, according to a statement from Tim Connolly, a spokesman for Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

The boy, who had been at the mall with family members and a friend, fell from the second-floor escalator in the Sears department store to the floor below at about 6:35 p.m. Friday, Connolly said.

He said the state medical examiner has not determined the exact cause of death.

The boy’s parents, Eric and Laura DiBona of Dudley, could not be reached for comment.

Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety, which regulates escalators, said the escalator was examined on Saturday.

“We did an inspection and we found no mechanical malfunction,’’ Harris said. “We left it closed pending further review by the local building inspector.’’

A Sears spokeswoman, Kim Freely, said the Auburn store was closed yesterday while authorities were investigating.

“Obviously our thoughts and prayers are with his family,’’ she said. “Customer safety is a top priority at our company and we’ll continue to cooperate with the investigation.’’

Freely said Sears was providing assistance for employees who may have been traumatized by the accident.

Stewart Bishop can be reached at sbishop@globe.com.