Date
17 October 2017
Two mall employees notice the danger posed by a loosened metal plate at the end of the escalator but fail to act to shut down the machine. Photo: CCTV
Two mall employees notice the danger posed by a loosened metal plate at the end of the escalator but fail to act to shut down the machine. Photo: CCTV

Hubei escalator tragedy could have been prevented

The escalator accident that killed a 30-year-old mother in a shopping mall in Central China’s Hubei province on Sunday could have been prevented as two staff had noticed the problem minutes before the tragedy struck.

A video footage, released by the official China Central Television, shows two mall employees stepping on a loosened metal plate on the upper end of the escalator.

But instead of closing the escalator, they stood at the end to warn people that something was wrong with the machine.

That is why another video released earlier shows the mother, identified as Xiang Liujuan, holding up her two-year-old son, obviously on the advice of the staff, according to Beijing Youth Daily.

An uncle of the victim said the shopping mall operator should have shut down the escalator after they noticed the problem.

He also criticized the shopping mall for having no emergency plan after the accident occurred.

The escalator was produced by Suzhou-based Shenlong Elevator Co. Ltd. on July 1, 2014 and installed and tested by Hubei Defu Electromechanical Equipment Co. Ltd. on March 16 this year.

Last year, Shenlong sold 8,861 products, including 2,124 units of escalators and moving sidewalks.

Hubei authorities have suspended the use of all its products in the province after the accident.

According to the Hubei government website, Defu was rated three stars — with seven stars being the highest score — in terms of the quality of its maintenance services. It ranked 35th among 48 other service providers in the province.

Translation by Jeff Pao

(5 minutes before accident)

(accident)

Mother saves 2-year-old son, is killed in escalator accident (July 27, 2015)

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JP/CG

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