A fatal escalator accident claimed the life of a mother in China just moments after she saved her child from meeting the same fate. On July 26, security footage from a mall in Jingzhou shows a mother riding up the escalator with her son. It starts as a scene you would see any day in any mall across the world. At the top of the escalator, however, something goes awry. The metal panel where the escalator steps meet the ground collapses under the woman’s feet. She falls into the large gap and, with just her upper body out of the escalator, she pushes her young son to safety. A mall employee grabs the child and turns to save the mother, but at that moment she disappears into the gigantic hole in the escalator.
Employees and rescue crews attempted to save the woman trapped in the escalator shaft for about four hours, eventually cutting the escalator open. Unfortunately, the woman was not found alive. Officials in Jingzhou have stated that the escalator accident is to be blamed on human error. Security footage shows mall employees uncovering the loose panel five minutes before the accident. The panel wobbles as employees step on it, so they alert maintenance. The escalator, however, was not shut down, nor was anything placed over the paneling or around the escalator warning people not to step there. Had these actions been taken, the mother would likely have survived.
This is the most recent in a series of serious escalator accidents to occur across the world in recent years. In another escalator accident in China, a toddler’s hand and arm were trapped within the gap of the escalator after he tripped and fell. In Beijing, a boy’s foot was trapped in the same dangerous gap area of the escalator. One toddler died several months ago after becoming caught on the escalator railing and plunging several floors to the ground.
Escalators Can Result in Serious Injuries or Death
These accidents are causing many to question the safety of escalators across the world. The current escalator design was developed in the late 1800’s and has changed little since then. Many criticize the so-called gap area, where the escalator meets the floor, as unreasonably dangerous. It is here that most accidents occur, with many children experiencing serious foot, leg, hand, and arm injuries after becoming trapped in the gap.
Escalator maintenance is also to blame for many accidents. Escalators in older malls and shopping centers have been there for some time and may experience maintenance issues. Escalators must be regularly inspected for signs of wear and tear, loss parts, and the like. Immediate action must be taken if there are signs of potential dangers with the escalator.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Over 130 Years of Collective Experience
These recent serious escalator accidents call into question the safety of this commonly used device. If you have been injured in an escalator accident or any other sort of accident involving the negligence of another, the Miami Personal Injury Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano are here to help. For over 130 collective years, we have assisted accident victims in bringing personal injury as well as wrongful death claims across South Florida. Our dedication to providing superior legal services and client centered approach has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald. Allow our exceptional attorneys to provide you with excellence of legal services. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.