If there’s one thing we don’t trust in Shanghai, it’s …err… actually there are a lot of things in Shanghai that we don’t trust. That said, at least one thing on our “list of ways we will probably die in Shanghai” is being crossed off: dying in a malfunctioning elevator accident.
Officials announced today that all Shanghai elevators will be inspected throughout the city this summer.
Besides Shanghai’s recent faulty elevator issues, this announcement is coming hot on the heels of Beijing’s tragic escalator death (which has consequently lead to the shutting down of Shanghai’s own escalator system).
A recent incidence of a woman trapped for an hour in a Songjiang District elevator supports the authorities’ assertion that summer is peak season for mechanical failure in elevators:
The victim, surnamed Wang, said the elevator suddenly stopped while descending. The lights went out and it soon became stiflingly hot. She pressed the emergency button but no one came to her rescue, Wang said. The property management company for the Lijingyuan residential area said the incident was caused by overheating in the elevator control room. Officials said the room wasn’t fitted with air-conditioning and the computer broke down in the heat.
And not to mention the case of an elevator dropping suddenly from the fourth floor to the first floor in Changning District, last week, an accident in which fortunately no one was injured.
Inspection will begin with the oldest operating elevators first, and move up to the most recent. Following this sequence of elevator and escalator glitches, we at Shanghaiist can only assume that the machines have finally decided to rise against their human masters, pressing for more liberal freedoms through violent means that wreak chaos in the social order. Fortunately, the authorities are diligently in the process of harmonizing the errant machines, so there’s no need for panic.
By Patrick Keefe