In light of various accidents involving escalators in recent days, you can pretty much just assume that every case of a malfunctioning moving staircase is going to incite a mild freakout. This recently happened in Times Square, a popular shopping mall in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay, where pieces of an escalator kind of just… broke off. Fortunately, nobody was injured.
An image showing pieces of the escalator scattered about the floor near the bottom landing was posted to Facebook yesterday morning and garnered hundreds of comments and shares.
Nobody was riding the escalator at the time of the incident, according to local reports. The machinery was stopped at around 10:00 and blocked off for several hours until service resumed at 2:30 p.m. yesterday.
A spokesperson with the shopping mall apologized for the incident and said that the escalators there are regularly maintained, although this has done little to quell people’s concerns over China’s “man-eating” machines.
“How can this happen? If the escalator is being overused then [management] should step up more inspection checks,” one Facebook user commented.
The story follows three widely reported escalator incidents within China in the past couple of weeks. On July 26, a 30-year-old woman in Hubei was killed when the footplate on the upper end of an ascending escalator suddenly collapsed beneath her. Just a couple of days later, a one-year-old toddler was dragged into one of the moving staircases in Wuzhou, crushing his arm. The most recent accident occurred at the Cloud Nine shopping mall in Shanghai, when a 35-year-old cleaner got stuck in an escalator and had to have his leg amputated.
The tragic cases led to mall-goers across the country resorting to alternative escalator-riding techniques. Most were joking, but we have a feeling more and more people have been opting for the stairs recently.