No, you’re not experiencing déjà vu, and yes, it’s happened again. A woman in Shenyang, Liaoning province avoided certain tragedy when an escalator she was riding at a busy shopping mall suddenly malfunctioned.
Images from the incident, which occurred at around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, show a missing footplate at the upper-end of the moving staircase. The pictures appear frighteningly similar to those from the freak escalator accident that occurred at a mall in Hubei on July 26, leaving one 30-year-old woman dead.
Fortunately in this case, the unidentified woman in her 20s managed to narrowly avoid the gap that appeared when the top section of the escalator suddenly collapsed behind her.
According to SCMP, the woman stepped onto the downward-moving escalator when she heard a loud crash caused by the metal panel falling inside the machine behind her. She ran down the moving flight of stairs until she’d reached the ground level safely.
The machinery was immediately shut down as mall staff investigate the reason behind the malfunction, according to CRI. A mall-goer told reporters that no one else was on the escalator at the time.
While the woman managed to escape unharmed, the incident will not likely do much to quell public safety concerns following a spate of reports involving faulty escalators in recent weeks. In the horrific July 26 case, the victim had been traveling up the escalator when a metal plate gave in beneath her. She managed to push her young son to safety before getting sucked into the machinery.
Just two days later, a toddler was injured when his arm got trapped inside an escalator at a mall in Guangxi, and on August 1, a 35-year-old cleaner got stuck in an escalator at a Shanghai mall, resulting in his leg being amputated.
Less severe accidents involving escalators across the country have kept mall-goers on high alert and, as tragedies sometimes do, inspired a meme.
In the wake of the news reports, the Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau carried out an inspection and ordered the “indefinite suspension” of 33 machines in the city alone.
At least two of the escalators involved in recent accidents were manufactured by the firm Shanghai Mitsubishi. It’s unclear which company produced the escalator in this most recent case.
[Image via CRI]