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Fatal escalator accidents are very rare in countries with solid health and safety rules, but many people still feel a bit nervous while riding them.
For me, it’s those jagged looking jaws at the end that you have to avoid so as not to lose your toes in a nightmare accident, or simply to slip and fall.
But, recently, in China, a spate of horrific escalator accidents and deaths will not help peoples’ nerves.
Admittedly, health and safety standards in China currently leave a little to be desired, but the government is making positive moves in the right direction, thankfully and escalator safety is steadily improving.
Warning: When I first researched this story I wasn’t prepared for these horrific escalator accidents videos. To be honest I was surprised to find them.
I agonised long and hard whether to show them here or not. It is not my intention to shock or upset or anyone. In the end I decided to post the videos as they are all over the Internet anyway and I don’t think that in the context of this article they are gratuitous.
Just please be prepared to be upset if you do watch them. This was not the direction I had in mind for this blog so expect less outrageous posts in future.
Here we look at three recent escalator accidents in China. In the first incident a heroic mum saves her child as she is literally eaten by an escalator, incredible though it sounds.
Woman caught in escalator
On the 26th July 2015, 31-year-old Xiang Liujuan and her two-year-old son were on a pleasant Sunday shopping trip in Jingzhou city China. CCTV footage shows that they take a ride on the escalator.
Three members of staff are waiting at the top of the escalator. Some news outlets report that these three women already knew the stepping plate at the top of the escalator had come loose and were apparently warning Xiang, verbally, of this, accident attorneys would of noted that I am sure.
Xiang picks up her child as she reaches the top of the escalator, just as the plate beneath her feet collapses.
She bravely saves the child by throwing him to one of the women, who are watching on in horror just inches away, as Xiang is dragged quickly into the machinery and to a horrific death.
One of the women make what appears to be a half-hearted attempt to save Xiang, but it is likely that the force pulling Xiang in was too strong anyway and the poor woman dies in the escalator.
China state media reported It took four hours to cut the escalator open and find her body. (I do not know why it had to be”cut” open”)
Be aware that this escalator accidents video is uncensored and could be upsetting.
Another video shows that the three employees already knew the escalator was broken, just minutes before the shocking escalator incident..
This tragedy throws up many questions. For example, What about the maintenance people? Did they put the floor panel back properly? Or maybe they didn’t do their job of properly maintaining the escalator? I’m not saying I know how escalators work, but someone messed up here surely?
Those three women will surely be mentally scared for life after being part of this horrific accident, it’s certainly playing on my mind just watching these videos. In the West these ladies would be putting in injury claims for mental stress and shock or something, but I’m not so sure about Chinese accident law.
Where was the “STOP” button? And why didn’t they use it? Assuming there was one! An essential part of escalator safety I would of thought?
That poor child will probably see this video one day, what is that going to be like for him? A intriguing, but sick moral question, if you were that child and you knew of the existence of a video that showed your Mothers death, would you watch it? Personally I really don’t know. I would prefer not it not to exist to be honest.
What a really terrible death that must have been for Xiang . One can only guess as to what sort of horrors she went through, being crushed, minced and torn slowly to death.
it’s easy to forget that these are real people, just like you and me, and not some TV show or film character. I feel humble and sad.
How do escalators work ?
Here is a link to an animated video which shows the insides of an escalator. how does an escalator work.
The very next day after the woman dies in the escalator a toddler got his arm trapped in an escalator’s steps after wandering off from his parents and falling onto the escalator. Read the full story by clicking on the photo.
Man loses foot in escalator accident
Just a week later. In the next escalator accidents video, a cleaner gets his leg trapped in a work accident. Passers by try to help, again, I have to ask, where is the STOP button? Desperate need of escalator safety improvident needed here.
The video cuts to nearly 24 minutes later when fireman arrive and free the man, but his foot has to be amputated later in hospital. That 24 minutes must have been the worst agony anyone can imagine.
Officials said he broke safety rules by not stopping the escalator first before attempting to mop the stairs, I guess that means no injury claims or compensation for this poor guy unless he has a team of super accident attorneys, which to be honest doesn’t seem likely.
Note: I have now deleted this section that showed a video of a 5 year old boy falling off an escalator railing he was “riding” and dropped about 50 feet to his death. It was too graphic for me, I’m afraid, you can find it on YouTube but I wouldn’t advise it, once you’ve seen it you can’t un-see it.
Escalator accidents and deaths in China
In China, 37 people were killed in escalator accidents last year. There are 3.6 million registered escalators in China and around 20% of these have been in service for longer than the recommended 15 years.
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