Date
24 January 2017
Panda Place shopping arcade in Tsuen Wan has joined the list of places where there have been disturbing escalator accidents in recent months. Photos: Apple Daily,http://www.pandaplace.com.hk/
Panda Place shopping arcade in Tsuen Wan has joined the list of places where there have been disturbing escalator accidents in recent months. Photos: Apple Daily,http://www.pandaplace.com.hk/

Lucky escape for couple as escalator breaks down at mall

A Hong Kong couple had a terrible scare over the weekend due to a malfunctioning escalator at a shopping mall in Tsuen Wan, adding to the recent series of such incidents in the city.

Apple Daily cited a witness as saying that he saw a woman and a man take an escalator down to the supermarket in the Aeon department store at the Panda Place shopping arcade at about 3 pm Saturday.

As they were nearing the ground, the metal plate at the end of the escalator suddenly collapsed and created a big hole.

The woman screamed when she detected the hole, which was said to be about four feet long and one foot wide. 

Fortunately, she withdrew her foot just as she was about to step into the hole, pulling back in quick reflexive action.

Both she and her companion, clasping hands together, then quickly jumped over the hole onto solid ground.

They didn’t suffer any injuries, but were still shaken badly by the experience.

A security guard at the shopping mall was quoted as saying that it was not the first time that such a problem had occurred. He didn’t elaborate.

Officials from the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department inspected the site after they were alerted about the incident.

Initial investigations suggest that the hole was created as the metal plate was crushed by damaged reels of the escalator, according to the officials.

The escalator has now been shut down for repairs. 

The Tsuen Wan accident comes on the heels of quite a few cases of escalator breakdowns in Hong Kong in recent months, including MTR stations and shopping malls.

Saturday’s incident was reminiscent of an accident in China in July, when a 30-year-old mother was swallowed up by a hole formed by a metal plate of a defective escalator.

In that horrific accident, which happened at a shopping mall in Hubei province, the woman died after getting sucked into the hole.

But heroically she managed to save her young son by pushing him out of danger’s way before she herself became victim. 

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TL/AC/RC

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