China’s escalator epidemic spread to Hong Kong on Saturday when a shopping mall escalator suddenly went haywire, injuring 18 shoppers.
Over the weekend, eyewitness videos went viral online showing the moment that the escalator inside Langham Place, a Mong Kok mall, reversed direction, sending dozens of shoppers hurtling downward without warning.
The incident is still under investigation by local authorities. Hong Kong’s Electrical and Mechanical Services Department has said that a damaged driving chain may have been to blame; however, a braking device should have stopped the escalator from reversing, and it’s not clear why it did not.
A spokesperson for Langham Place said that the escalator had passed inspection only last Thursday, and hadn’t undergone any major repair work.
South China Morning Post reports that two workers contracted by Otis Eleavtor Company have been arrested for “handling mechanical parts subject to an inquiry.”
In the aftermath of the incident, Hong Kong’s city government ordered that safety tests be carried out on 57 escalators around the city that are over 15 meters in height. Meanwhile, Langham Place is carrying out inspections on all of its escalators.
You can watch footage from the incident below:
Two weeks ago, Chongqing firefighters rescued a 6-year-old boy after an escalator tried to eat his hand. Might be time to start taking the stairs again, folks.
[Images via Oriental Daily]
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