If you’ve ever felt uneasy riding an escalator, there may be a very good reason. Recently leaked CCTV footage from a Chinese subway station shows a fully packed escalator suddenly switching into reverse and throwing dozens of commuters to the floor. The incident apparently took place on February 19 at a subway station in Ningbo, a city in China’s eastern Zhejiang province.
Reports indicate that ten people were taken to the hospital following the malfunction, and five needed to receive treatment for their injuries. Authorities have launched an investigation to try to uncover exactly what happened and how to prevent such accidents in the future.
This isn’t the first time China has made the news for a faulty escalator, although an incident last July had a far more gruesome ending when a young mother fell to her death due to a loose panel at the landing of the steps in a shopping mall. In that case, it was determined that workers who failed to secure the panel after performing maintenance work were at fault. And in 2012, a nine-year-old was killed by another mall escalator in Beijing.
While this recent video didn’t result in any loss of life or limb, the outcome could have been far more serious. In 2011, a similar malfunction in a Beijing subway station threw a teenage boy to his death. In that incident, 28 people ended up being taken to the hospital for treatment. The government ordered safety checks on other subway escalators at that time, although this new video raises doubts about whether those checks actually took place.
Needless to say, the fact that escalator-related deaths and injuries keep piling up in China is alarming. Experts blame the number of faulty escalators in the country on its rapid economic development and sometimes poor quality control and safety record. If you’re planning to visit China anytime soon, it might be safer to take the stairs.
Via The Independent