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State television RAI broadcast a video of the incident that showed the escalator suddenly speed up, leaving people in a tangled crush at the bottom, unable to jump free.

The station was full of Russian fans at the time as they headed towards Rome's Olympic Stadium where CSKA Moscow were due to play AS Roma in the Champions League later on Tuesday.

Footage on social media shows people piling up at the bottom of an escalator as it rapidly descends.

First responders evacuate wounded persons on Piazza della Repubblica in central Rome on Tuesday after around 20 people were injured when an escalator leading to the Repubblica metro station collapsed in an accident believed to have been caused by Russian football fans.

Disturbing footage captured the chaos on the Rome escalator.

The escalator at the Repubblica metro station in Rome broke, Italian police said.

At least 20 people were injured, according to the BBC's report.

"A group of CSKA fans were going down into the station". One Russian fan was stabbed with a knife, and two others were hurt in clashes with other supporters.

The station was closed immediately and four ambulances were parked at one of the entrances.

Contrary to initial reports, the Russian fans were not jumping and celebrating on the escalator when the collapse happened.